Food Marketing

Let’s tell Big Food to stop acting like spoiled kids—and stop inciting real kids to nag for junk food.

by: 

Susan Linn, Ed.D.

The food industry is throwing a zillion-dollar tantrum to quash proposed national nutritional guidelines for food advertised to kids. Meanwhile, yet another research study came out demonstrating the harm done by advertising directly to children. 

Who Put McDonald's in Charge of Kids' Health?

by: 

Michele Simon

When McDonald’s sneezes, the media jumps. Such was the case yesterday when the fast food giantannounced it was giving the Happy Meal a makeover. Well not really, but that’s how it got reported, because the media loves simple stories. But when it comes to marketing and PR by multinational corporations, nothing is ever that simple.

Hope and Hypocrisy Under the Golden Arches

by: 

Susan Linn, Ed.D.

As advocates for deep change know, big success is often preceded by small incremental changes that may go unnoticed by the general public. It seems the effort to stop fast food companies from hawking toys to kids is gaining ground.

Last week I was watching Friday Night Lights (a great show if I don’t fret about the product placement) and blithely forwarding through the commercials when an ad for McDonald’s Happy Meals stopped me cold. There were no toys. Intrigued, I rewound and watched in real time:

Food Industry in Europe Engaging in Familiar PR on Marketing to Kids

by: 

Michele Simon

I just returned from a 2-day meeting in Brussels. I was asked to participate with other experts from around the world (mostly from Europe) to address the problem of cross-border marketing of unhealthy food to children. In the age of satellite TV, the Internet, and other technologies, one country's standards may be insufficient to protect children from being exposed to junk food marketing.

Happy Meal Makeover: How a Healthy Food Coalition Defeated a Fast Food Icon

by: 

Michele Simon

On election day, while most of the nation was distracted with the mid-term election, another vote was taking place in San Francisco City Hall. The Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance to place limits—based on specific nutrition criteria—on how toys are marketed by restaurants in the city and county of San Francisco.

Scholastic and SunnyD’s Shocking School Spree

by: 

Josh Golin

Last week, Angela S. was shopping with her six-year-old son when he started excitedly lobbying her to buy SunnyD. Angela was surprised – it wasn’t a product she had ever purchased for him. Moreover, “he sounded like a commercial,” yet Angela’s family doesn’t even own a television, so she was pretty sure a TV ad wasn’t the source of his newfound enthusiasm for SunnyD. And then, as her son excitedly told her that if she bought SunnyD his class would get free books, it dawned on her why he was lobbying her: his teacher had told him to.

Why is McDonald's listed a resource for Childhood Obesity Awareness Month?

by: 

Michele Simon

I am not a fan of any sort of  "awareness" month as I find the concept trivializes important health issues. Are we only supposed to care about heart disease, diabetes, etc, during that one month of the year? And I never see anything of substance come from the month-long activities, just the usual ineffective educational campaigns, instead of meaningful public policy reforms. Plus many issues tend to crowd themselves into certain months of the year, so it all just becomes noise.  September is one such month.

Back to school with PepsiCo stealth marketing?

by: 

Michele Simon

I recently blogged about questions regarding how PepsiCo's voluntary beverage guidelines, announced in March, would be implemented in schools given that contracts are made at the local level. Now with back-to-school in full swing, I have even more questions about how PepsiCo may be using stealth marketing techniques to gain access to that coveted captive K-12 audience.

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