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Junk Food Ads Get The C’est La Vie From Disney

Posted: 3:43PM June 6th, 2012 | Comments

Junk food will no longer fuel Disney advertisements. 

Walt Disney Company announced Tuesday that it will lead the charge against the marketing of non-nutritional foods to the impressionable youth.  Effective by 2015, this ban will make Disney the first major media company to stop advertising junk food on television channels, radio stations and websites. 

Saturday morning cartoons may become a little less sweet in hopes of encouraging the youth to eat healthier by reducing the exposure and temptation of junk food. Similiar to the proposal of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg which took any fountain drink over 16 ounces off conveniant stores shelves, Disney's ban aims to influence behavior by removing choices. 

Any food which doesn't meet Disney's nutritional standards will not be allowed advertisement opportunities. These regulations go beyond candy bars and fast food chains. Capri Suns (too much sugar) and Oscar Meyer's Lunchables (too much sodium) would not make the cut. Any cereal with over 10 grams or more of sugar would also be out luck and airtime. 

Disney declined to say how much it stands to lose from banning unhealthy foods, however, CEO Bob Iger conceded that there may be a "short term reduction" in advertisment revenue. Igor added that what Disney is hoping for is that advertisers will eventually adjust and create products that meet their standards. 

Disney wants to know: How you like them apples?

This announcement also places pressure on competing media networks like Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon to adopt similiar ad regulations.

Aviva Must, Chairwoman of the Department of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts School of Medicine said Disney could succeed where government thus far has made little progress. 

"There seems to be limited taste for government regulation," said Must, who has studied childhood obesity for decades. "So i think a large company like Disney taking a stand and puting in a policy with teeth is a good step"

First Lady Michelle Obama called the anouncement a "game changer". 

How much will Disney's new advertisement regulations actually change the game?

Food and snack companies will be forced to advertise healthier options. Disney will force competing media network's advertisement departments to be whipped into shape. Parents more obligated to get "cool" healthy food, and who knows, maybe sugar-less commercials may even push kids outside for the Saturday. Now that would be a game changer!





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