by Brooks Barnes, Brian Stelter |
The New York Times
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
In spite of continued pressure from BMSG, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and other advocacy groups committed to reducing junk food marketing to children, Nickelodeon maintains that its primary responsibility is entertainment and resists adopting responsible food marketing standards.
Four senators join Berkeley Media Studies Group, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and other partners in demanding that Nickelodeon "implement strong nutrition standards for all of its marketing to children." Although CSPI found that seven out of 10 food ads Nick carries are for junk foods, Nickelodeon claims its first responsibility is entertainment and will not change its advertising lineup.
A new report from the National Education Policy Center at University of Colorado, Boulder, shows that food companies are not making enough progress in reducing marketing to children. However, the report does not offer recommendations for change. To learn more about how to take action, Nestle recommends visiting our resources section or cspinet.org. Foodmarketing.org, the website of the Food Marketing Workgroup, also contains action opportunities.
Food and beverage companies spend billions each year to target kids with mostly unhealthy products. Referencing a BMSG report on target marketing, the chief of staff of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health shows how pervasive the issue is, especially in communities of color, which are disproportionately targeted with ads for junk food.
The bars have surpassed sales estimates by 150 percent. BMSG and the Center for Science in the Public Interest have urged Nestle to stop marketing unhealthy foods featuring the Girl Scout's name and logo, saying that doing so violates the company's pledge to avoid marketing to children.