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Kids, Cartoons and Cookies: Should We Restrict the Marketing of Food to Children

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Kids, Cartoons and Cookies: Should We Restrict the Marketing of Food to Children? ... Kaiser Report: Food ads 'may well be' making our kids fat ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Kids, Cartoons and Cookies: Should We Restrict the Marketing of Food to Children


1
Kids, Cartoons and Cookies Should We Restrict
the Marketing of Food to Children?
  • CATO Policy Forum June 7, 2004

2
Childhood Obesity is a Serious Issue
  • Surgeon General There is no simple or quick
    solution
  • We need to address problem in balanced,
    comprehensive way
  • Lets focus on solutions that work

3
Food Ads Pushed to Center Stage
  • Kaiser Report Food ads may well be making our
    kids fat
  • But Surgeon General report never mentioned
    advertising!
  • Demonizing food or food ads is not a solution

4
Some Key Facts
5
Food and Restaurant Commercials Viewed by Children
  • The number of food and restaurant commercials
    viewed by children has fallen in the last decade.
  • The number of commercials viewed reached 5,909 in
    1994 and dropped to 5,038 in 2003
  • In the last four years (2000-03), the number of
    commercials viewed have averaged 4,850 per year.
  • In the first four years (1993-96) the average
    number of commercials viewed was 5,575 per year.
  • Comparing the first four years to the last four
    years of the period, the decline in food and
    restaurant commercials was 13.
  • Both categories food and restaurants declined
    over the period.
  • The largest decline was in advertising for foods.

6
More Key Facts
7
More Key Facts (continued)
8
Advertising is Heavily Regulated
  • FTC regulates false, deceptive or unfair ads has
    been active in food area
  • FTC applies reasonable child standard
  • FCC sets time limits for ads in childrens
    programming
  • FCC bans host selling, requires bumpers

9
Advertising Self-Regulation is Effective
  • NAD/NARB system established in 1971
  • Cases not resolved are referred to FTC
  • NAD/NARB decision are made public
  • FTC Chairmen A model of effective industry
    self-regulation

10
Children Are Not Miniature Adults
  • Childrens Advertising Review Unit (CARU)
    established in 1974
  • Specific guidelines for marketing to children
  • CARU has been active in food marketing area
  • Almost all companies comply with CARU

11
Radical Proposals for Kids Advertising
  • APA report No ads for kids under age 8
  • CSPI No ads for bad foods as defined by HHS
  • NY Assemblyman Ortiz Taxing kids ads to pay for
    anti-obesity programs

12
Banning Food Ads to Children Will Not Solve
Obesity Problem
  • Ad bans have not lowered obesity rates
  • Obesity levels vary greatly across the US
  • Prevalence of obesity among US adults by state,
    2001 (source CDC)
  • Lowest rate 14.4, Colorado
  • Highest rate 24.6, West Virginia

13
Banning Childrens Advertising Will Not Work
  • Children cannot be hermetically sealed in a
    protective cocoon without ads
  • Kids watch all TV, not just childrens
    programming
  • Banning childrens ads would seriously hurt
    childrens programming

14
Banning Childrens Ads Would Violate the First
Amendment
  • Advertising for all products has substantial
    protection
  • Child protection does not trump the First
    Amendment
  • Western States case regulating speech must be
    the last resort, not the first

15
Pester Power
  • Banning childrens ads ignores the responsibility
    of parents!
  • APA report assumes that parents have been
    dematerialized, children are free agents
  • Vast majority of purchasing decisions are made by
    parents
  • Dealing with the pester factor is part of
    parents responsibility
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