Last week, four federal agencies announced new principles governing food marketing to children. Will these voluntary principles lead to significant change? Unlikely, say Marion Nestle and Melanie Warner. (And food companies already have shown they can’t self-regulate.)
But let’s hope some of it sticks. Because we really don’t need more “healthy” vending machines like this, you know?
For more on why voluntary steps alone won’t curb the absurd marketing (remember McEducation?), read two great takes from two great writers having fun with this decidedly un-funny problem:
“Show me the whites of your eyes”
Cheryl Sternman Rule, of 5 Second Rule, on McDonald’s subversive online marketing: “It used to be that when a flash ad for Deep-Fried, Sugar-Coated, Highly-Processed Fat Balls appeared on the screen, we could tell our kids, ‘That’s an ad. The Deep-Fried, Sugar-Coated, Highly-Processed Fat Ball Company paid your favorite website a lot of money to try to sell you that product. Just ignore it.'”
“A voluntary pledge: A story”
Mary Finucane, of Disney Princess Recovery, on why pledging to do the right thing is a whole lot different from doing the right thing: “I take a voluntary pledge to drive cautiously every time I get in my car. But, sometimes I fail. When I’ve been pulled over for the occasional infraction, I don’t say, ‘But I took a pledge! Didn’t you see the agreement that I wrote up this morning that I signed myself? I said I would try! Awwww man! Why you always on me!'”
Disclaimer: These pictures stink. I know. I’m sorry. I was in a hurry, with a point-and-shoot. Yada yada.