The Food Police continue to push for an end to advertising food to kids, which the nanny-staters believe is responsible for making kids fat in this country. And it looks like 2013 will see the Food Police continue to nag those companies they say are holding out against meeting Food Police demands. An FDA report says TV advertising to kids is down, but use of digital media platforms is up, and that has the Food Police adding digital to its pressure points.
Even with a generally positive report, advertisers are bracing for a fight. “This will bring attention back onto the food advertising issue, adding new fuel to the fire for 2013,” said Dan Jaffe, evp of the Association of National Advertisers. “The advertising and media community have done more than any other sector to respond to the obesity issue. The question is, what is enough?”
At least one advertising attorney believes the FTC is on shaky ground as it tries to nudge the food and beverage industry to do more. “It’s policy-making masquerading as exercising enforement authority…. Companies should not be led to believe that further compromise and cut back on spending and marketing will satisfy the FTC or the food industry critics,” said John Feldman, a partner with Reed Smith, in a statement. “They will not be satisfied until there is a ban on kids advertising altogether.”
Meantime, parents continue to indulge their kids with mountains of high-calorie, high-fat food – failing to teach them about moderation and the need to exercise. They’ll never admit that fat kids aren’t a consequence of advertising. Fat kids are a consequence of eating too much and exercising too little. And that failure to take responsibility gives the Food Police what they love: a clear path to step in and bully companies to cave to their demands while absolving parents of responsibility for raising healthy, nutrition-aware kids.