Archaeologists Are Bitter About Cadbury

They say treasure hunt campaign advocated looting
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2019 10:29 AM CDT
Cadbury Campaign Urged Kids to Dig at Ancient Sites
Chocolate moves down the production line at the Cadbury's factory in Birmingham, England, on Nov. 20, 2009.   (AP Photo/Simon Dawson, File)

Cadbury has pulled an advertising campaign that archaeologists say encouraged children to dig for treasure—illegally. Naming archaeological sites around the UK and Ireland where jewels, gold, and silver have been found, the Treasure Island ads encouraged kids to "grab your metal detector and go hunting for Roman riches" because "there could have been some that was overlooked" and "the treasure's fair game," reports the Guardian. "Unfortunately Cadbury's PR campaign … potentially puts people at odds with the law," responded government heritage agency Historic England, referencing "strict rules that protect England's archaeological heritage, including laws governing metal detection." Similar rules are in place in the Republic of Ireland, per the BBC.

Some 30 complaints rolled in to the Advertising Standards Authority. Oxford archaeology professor Dan Hicks listed five charges people might face, while Ian Trumble of Bolton Museum noted the campaign promoting "the gleeful destruction of archaeological sites" showed "striking similarities" to a 1980s promotion of Cadbury Creme Eggs. The latter was pulled because it encouraged digging and trespassing, per the Guardian. The British confectioner said the goal was "to inspire families to go on everyday adventures together," not "to encourage anyone to break existing regulations regarding the discovery of new archaeological (artifacts)." The content will now be altered "to focus solely on directing families to museums where existing treasures can be found." (Read more Cadbury stories.)

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