The Sandy Hook school shooting is yet another wake-up call to the nation about the need to stop gun violence. Yet keeping the issue in the media spotlight and mustering the necessary political willpower to make substantive policy changes may prove difficult. As BMSG research shows, this was the case after Columbine. Will this time be different?
The Food Marketing Workgroup, a coalition of health groups led by the Berkeley Media Studies Group and Center for Science in the Public Interest, is pushing Viacom to implement stronger nutritional standards for the foods marketed on the Nickelodeon, the largest entertainment company for kids.
Berkeley Media Studies Group has joined hundreds of U.S. health groups and experts in urging Nickelodeon and its parent company Viacom to stop marketing junk food to children. Of the food ads shown on Nickelodeon, 80% are for unhealthy foods.
The Federal Trade Commission is moving to overhaul rules that currently allow major corporations to improperly collect children's information online and without parents' awareness. The action comes on the heels of a complaint that advocates including BMSG and the Public Health Institute filed with the FTC.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaigns are a growing trend in the business world. Yet, too often these campaigns make brands appear more environmentally or socially responsible than they really are. The Pepsi Refresh Project, which awards funds to philanthropic organizations based on input and votes from Pepsi consumers (who amass more clout by drinking more Pepsi products), is a case in point. BMSG's Andrew Cheyne, quoted in this article, calls such CSR efforts "diversion tactic[s]."