The Commonwealth Bank, KitchenAid, Nutri-Grain and Marriott Vacation Club are among the big brands whose bad behavior has earned them a lemon gong at the 13th annual CHOICE Shonkys. “From cots that put our kids’ lives at risk, to a bank that buys its way into our schools and the toaster that leaves your bread warm and dry, there’s little doubt that this year’s winners are giving Australians a bad deal,” says CHOICE CEO, Alan Kirkland.
“Our seven 2018 winners follow a long tradition of highlighting why we need to hold companies to account for their bad behavior and why we need stronger laws to protect Australians. The attitudes and practices of this year’s winners show exactly why we need the federal government to take action on greater safety standards, clearer food labelling and better banking regulations.”
2018 Shonkys winners are:
- Portable cots – for putting kids’ safety at risk
When CHOICE tested portable cots, we found that the vast majority failed our stringent safety tests. Alarmingly, most of the products we tested pose a risk of either suffocation or head entrapment (or both) to babies. 4baby, Babyco, Babyhood, Baby Bjorn, Baby Solutions, Childcare, Elite Baby, Joie, Love N Care, Phil&Teds, Steelcraft, and Target and Vee Bee are among the manufacturers whose portacots CHOICE wants to see recalled.
- Commonwealth Bank – for spruiking banking products in our schools
The Commonwealth Bank’s Dollarmite school marketing program mixes unchecked corporate greed with primary schools. Employing subversive sales tactics under the guise of youth education is a particularly disgraceful act, worthy of collecting the bank a Shonky. Who can weasel its way into our schools? CommBank can.
- Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain – for putting the squeeze on better health with its Nutri-Grain ‘To Go’ range.
The original ‘Ironman Food’ creator claims its new ‘To Go’ range is “perfect for young Aussies on the go”. When we discovered the Nutri-Grain Banana & Honey Smash Protein Squeezer contains a whopping 14.7g of sugar per packet in contrast to the 5.6g of protein it so heavily promotes, Nutri-Grain’s association with elite athletes became a little hard to swallow.
- KitchenAid – for failing miserably at its one job – making toast
The KitchenAid 2-Slice KMT2116 toaster will set you back $189, but it won’t make toast. CHOICE tests showed all it served up was dry, slightly warm bread. There are better ways to make a statement in your kitchen than buying this pricey paperweight. For sending money up in smoke, KitchenAid takes home a Shonky.
- Bioglan – for dreaming up a fantasy cure for insomnia
For the second year in a row Bioglan have taken out a Shonky for some questionable claims on their products. Despite spruiking its ability to “relieve mild temporary insomnia and symptoms of mild nervous tension” Bioglan melatonin homeopathic sleep formula contains only trace amounts of the drug and is little more than a placebo.
- Marriott Timeshare – for passing off a lifetime of debt as a cheap way to take a holiday
Marriott Vacation Club International’s timeshare deal requires you to buy into a 40-year contract that could, based on CHOICE calculations, see you spend nearly half a million dollars over the course of the contract – around ten times the amount it would cost to simply book a holiday when you needed to. For ripping people off who just want to take a break, Marriott Vacation Club joins this year’s winners’ circle.
- Magnetic therapy devices – for using weak health claims to pull on hip pockets
Magnetic therapy devices from brands such as Dick Wicks and BioMagnetic Sport promise to relieve pain, but with no evidence to back up these claims, the only thing they’ll relieve you of is money. The brands behind these devices dish out dodgy medical advice and charge a small fortune for their products.
More information on the 2018 Shonkys award winners is available at shonkys.com.au
Media contact: Jonathan Brown 0430 172 669