Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Good News, Bad News

Not much time to post this morning, but the big story is that 11 companies including Coke, McDonald's and Pepsi have agreed to limit junk food advertising to kids.

The bad news is the measures are voluntary and being applied in an arbitrary manner. Some companies like General Mills will limit ads only on mediums besides television. Given that the audience that is vulnerable here is under age six, television is still the primary media these non-readers consume.

Other points of concern include the "loophole:"

"That qualifier amounts to a major loophole, given the media-watching habits of children. An episode of Nickelodon’s “SpongeBob SquarePants,” for instance, is viewed by an average audience of 876,000 children age 6 to 11, according to Nielsen Media Research, and falls in the category of shows that are off-limits to ads for junk food. But “American Idol” from Fox, which qualifies as a family show, attracts 2.1 million children in the age group."

You can read more in the NYTimes this morning.

It's time for real change. Ethical marketing is NOT an oxymoron, or at least it should not be. Food manufacturers need to make healthier products. Consumers need to express themselves through their choices as much as possible.

Parents need to turn off the TV or computer, or whatever device, and make their wishes known to food manufacturers, schools, and also to educate their own children. Don't like it? Don't buy it. The whining is awful, but you can resist. Be strong.

We all need to step up. It's not going to be easy. But, you know, marketers and manufacturers are parents, too. These are our children. I think we can all do better.

1 comment:

frugalmom said...

I didn't forget about the meme. Nope, I didn't. Check it out.