Fewer junk food ads for kids

Amy Scott Nov 15, 2006

TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: Ten of the country’s biggest food companies have agreed to stop advertising to kids in elementary schools and to cut down on marketing aimed at children. Amy Scott reports.


AMY SCOTT: Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Hershey and other food giants say they’ll devote half their child-oriented advertising to promote good nutrition and healthier lifestyles.

They’ll avoid product placement in kids’ movies and cut down on the use of cartoon characters to market junk food.

Michael Jacobsen is not impressed.

MICHAEL JACOBSEN: This whole initiative is a joke.

Jacobsen directs the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group. He says all the companies are doing is sneaking in a few healthy messages alongside the not so healthy ones.

JACOBSEN: Such as a slightly lower-fat candy bar. Or perhaps Ronald McDonald peddling a bike down to a McDonald’s restaurant.

Others call it a step in the right direction. And it’s not the only one. Last month a handful of food companies pledged to stock lower-calorie, lower-fat snacks in school vending machines.

In New York, I’m Amy Scott for Marketplace.

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