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    Monday, 3 September 2007

    Catch-up (July): advertising to kids

    The issue of advertising impact on children's perceptions /aspirations has been simmering quietly since the introduction of Ofcom's seminal ban (emulated by the Committee on Advertising Practice for non-broadcast advertising) on the advertising of foods high in fat, salt and sugar, as evidenced by the continuing drip feed of comment in the papers. For instance, on 17 July the Wall Street Journal Europe carried a story highlighting how food advertisements prompt children to overeat, bringing to mind a similar report on research in the Scotsman in April.

    Also in July, advertising group Isba moved to encourage its members to adopt a voluntary code of practice in respect of promotions on their own websites (which wouldn't normally be considered to be advertising under ASA rules). This concern was flagged by Chris Smith on his accession to the Chair of the ASA at the beginning of the month. Meanwhile, the National Consumer Council was highly critical of a movie tie-in promotion run by Burger King, which spoke to children as young as three, notwithstanding the fact that the film in question - Transformers - was rated 12 by the BBFC.

    The impact of the ban on television companies, and consequently on the fall in production of quality children's programming has also been noted and government action called for. [Incidentally, the various uploads of the Save Kids TV online campaign video - mentioned on here previously - have now been watched on almost 500 occasions - not great given the number of views for which I alone am responsible!].

    6 comments:

    Anonymous said...

    See also the recent comment from Baroness Peta Buscombe, Chief Executive of the Advertising Association, in an article in New Media Age

    Anonymous said...

    You might also review the very interesting article from the Guardian at the end of July in which Helen Pidd reported on a workshop focused on marketing to children, on the movement own-pages and social networking sites online by advertisers aiming to avoid the Ofcom and CAP regulations. The piece also highlights the activities of a number of specific brands and the political response (citing initiatives undertaken by a number of MPs among others).

    Anonymous said...

    See also this cover article from the Guardian regarding Helen's investigation.

    Andrew Scott said...

    For a counterpoint to the Helen Pidd position - admittedly from Marina Palomba, the legal director of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising - see this from the Guardian (the subsequent comments are also well worth perusing):

    Don't blame advertisers for our children's problems

    Andrew Scott said...

    For further counterpoint, this time from Claire Beale writing in the Independent, see:

    - There's more money in cutting salt than in adding cartoon characters
    - Don't blame Shrek for your child's obesity

    Andrew Scott said...

    The research conducted by consumer group Which? regarding the use of cartoon characters to sell HFSS foods to kids which so caught Claire Beale's attention was considered a few weeks ago by the Independent and the Daily Mail among others:

    - Parents demand cartoon heroes banned from junk food ads
    - Cartoon stars 'selling fatty foods'
    - Cartoon heroes enticing children to eat junk food

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