Cadbury’s Treasure Island campaign digs itself a large hole

By on Monday, March 18, 2019

Cadbury has potentially dug itself a deep hole with their latest campaign to encourage kids to hunt for historic treasure across the UK.

Their Cadbury Treasure Island campaign has suggested that there is plenty of real treasure across Britain still to be discovered.

The ads encourage children to “grab your metal detector and go hunting for Roman riches” across the country.

This is despite the fact that digging without permission is illegal.

Historic England tweeted; “Unfortunately Cadbury’s PR campaign encouraging digging for treasure potentially puts people at odds with the law. There are strict rules that protect England’s archaeological heritage, including laws governing metal detection.”

The ads centre on the UK’s top treasure sites including locations in Devon, Somerset and Lancashire.

The UK has the Treasure Act and the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act in place legally to protect finds and the country’s historic lands and heritage.

The River Ribble is one location in the country that Cadbury highlights as a potential Treasure location

Archaeologists have been quick to voice their concern and shock at the campaign, with calls for the campaign to be pulled, as well as claims that the campaign provokes theft of cultural heritage.

For the moment the campaign website is no longer live. Whether that stops the uproar and the hunt for potential buried treasure in the UK is another issue.

Cadbury’s told the BBC said it did not condone the breaking of existing rules.

It said it was “in the process” of updating its website to make this clear.

In 2007 Cadbury Schweppes had to apologise to the authorities in Boston after a marketing stunt closed an historic cemetery.

The UK firm was promoting Dr Pepper in the US by coin treasure hunts for big cash prizes.

Contestants flocked to the 347-year-old Granary Burying Ground to find a hidden gold coin, but the site had to be shut amid fears that graves may be desecrated.


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