Wall of Shame
Why do food companies use their best ideas to market the foods that are the worst for kids? They say they care about children’s health, yet they spend billions on campaigns like these. If you have examples of food campaigns that companies should abandon in favor of healthier products, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PepsiCo’s video featured a badly battered woman being asked to identify her attacker out of a lineup of black men and a goat. After being taunted and threatened by the goat, the woman ran from the room, screaming, “I can’t ‘do’ this” — a play on words in reference to the brand, Dew.
The ad’s racial stereotypes and making light of violence against women have no place in any advertising, let alone marketing for products targeting young people.
Responding to widespread concerns from consumers and public health advocates, Taco Bell has done the right thing and agreed to take down an ad that ridiculed vegetables and the people who eat them. Intended for the Super Bowl, an event that adults and kids alike watch, the ad tried to convince people that bringing a veggie tray to game day is “a cop out” and “people will hate you for it.” The ad encouraged partygoers to instead bring 12-packs of tacos, loaded with calories, sodium and saturated fat.
As the public becomes more aware of the health problems tied to soda, they are drinking less of it. And marketers are responding with campaigns to reverse the trend. As the Public Health Advocacy Institute shows, this one from PepsiCo takes advantage of youth vulnerabilities to boost consumption among young people.
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me … a SpongeBob SquarePants chocolate bar? Companies say promoting candy to kids on holidays is an occasional exemption, but Halloween runs into Christmas, and Christmas into Valentine’s day, and Valentine’s day into Easter. Their “occasional” exemption lasts ¾ of the year. bit.ly/dump-the-junk
In spite of being loaded with sugar, the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative have deemed Apple Jacks a healthy product.
Public health groups have lauded Disney for discouraging the use of its characters to market junk food to kids. But the company has made an exception for candy marketed during Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Easter or other “special occasions.” Since 25 percent of candy sales happen during these holidays and Christmas, Disney can do better. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has called on Disney’s CEO to close the loophole.
A wide range of promotional tie-ins to the DreamWorks movie Madagascar 3 are being used to sell junk foods to kids. Examples include Airheads candy, McDonald’s Happy Meals and Lance cookies and crackers. The Center for Science in the Public Interest has urged Lance and DreamWorks to set nutrition standards for the companies’ marketing of food to children.
Nestle claims it doesn’t market candy to children, but health advocates say a new line of Girl Scout-themed Crunch candy bars violates the company’s pledge. The limited-edition candy bars bear the familiar Girl Scouts logo and evoke three popular Girl Scout Cookie flavors. A key difference between the candy bars and cookies is that the new candy bars have more calories, more saturated fat, and more sugars, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). CSPI and fellow Food Marketing Workgroup member Berkeley Media Studies Group have urged [pdf] the company to stop marketing unhealthy foods featuring the Girl Scout’s name and logo and refrain from similar marketing approaches in the future.
Check out this outrageous “corporate social responsibility” program. Lunchables blankets the Burbank Boys & Girls Club with its logos and other marketing to kids. The action begins at 1:23 into the video.