When a company’s primary audience is under the age of 12, will the public expect that company to promote only products and behaviors deemed “healthy” by third-party standards or trust it to develop its own?
To put it another way: does Cookie Monster really need to eat vegetables?
Senators and advocacy groups pushing to limit snack food ads on kids’ programs celebrated last year when The Walt Disney Company, partnering with Michelle Obama‘s “Let’s Move” anti-obesity campaign, promised to stop running spots for foods that don’t meet suggested federal nutrition standards by 2015. Disney’s chairman said the decision was “about smart business.”
Despite pressure to follow suit, Nickelodeon has chosen to continue using its own internal benchmarks—which earned praise from the same senators and advocacy groups—when deciding which food ads to run.