The Marketing & Advertising Myth
"Junk food is what we really crave."
Some TEDx talk highlights (from Upworthy):
1:14 How her daughter’s obsession with one particular person made her realize what was happening.
2:20 Can you guess how much money the food industry spends marketing to kids?
3:15 There’s even a term for the way they make children more annoying.
3:55 Find out just how many thousands of ads kids see if they watch a regular amount of television.
4:30 Here’s why just turning off the TV isn’t a solution.
4:50 Learn which school supplies are now sponsored by junk food.
5:54 Find out how companies like Coca-Cola and Pepsi are straight-up conning school communities to buy their products.
6:47 Here’s what she finds most upsetting.
8:10 And here’s how they get even more information about kids.
9:30 She talks about the life and death consequences that hang in the balance with this issue.
10:24 We’re seeing the most depressing innovations in health care now thanks to the food industry.
12:00 You’ll never believe where McDonald’s wanted to advertise.
13:01 Find out who’s fighting these food behemoths and saving generations to come.
Do kids these days just want to eat junk food? Are booming sales of Big Macs just proof companies are delivering what we truly crave?
Are the advocates promoting healthy, whole foods really “food nannies” trying to force people to eat their broccoli? Big Food says that the junk food they deliver—Big Macs, Coca-Cola, Pepperoni Pizza, you name it—is just giving us what we all really crave. Kale? Carrots? Quinoa? Hippie-food peddled by the “food police,” they say. But if this is true, then why does the food industry spend billions every year to get us to eat and drink the stuff they make? This section takes on the myth about what we really crave. Animated MythBusting movie to come in September 2013!
Coalition of Immokalee Workers asks Wendy to sign-on for Fair Food
Join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and their student, faith and community allies for a spirited, art-filled action demanding justice for farmworkers in Wendy’s supply chain! On Saturday, May 18 @ 2 pm, we will gather at Union Square Plaza (14th St.) at 2 pm. Following a short theater piece, we’ll march to Wendy’s at 20 East 14th St and then south on Broadway Ave. to another Wendy’s on 650 Broadway Ave.
Q & A
What is one of your favorite examples of a program working to encourage healthy eating, especially among kids and teens?
Communities across the country are finding innovative ways to encourage healthy eating. In particular, farm-to-school policies are gaining traction, with farm-to-school legislation in 35 states. Such programs connect K-12 schools with local farms that supply healthy, sustainable foods to school cafeterias. Not only do these programs support the health and well-being of kids, they play a role in educating communities, supporting local farmers, and strengthening the regional food economy.
Featured voice: Juliet Sims, Prevention Institute
Food companies say that it is the family’s responsibility to determine what foods their kids eat. Is it really up to the parents?
Food companies put all the responsibility on parents to shield their kids from unhealthy foods—but when food marketers have access to children in schools, in stores, on television, and increasingly on the internet, parents have the odds stacked against them. Parents don’t decide which cereals to market to children or what image goes on the front of the cereal box—food companies do. One major study found that, at this rate, children won’t be fully protected from junk food ads until 2033. We can’t continue to allow generations of children to get sick while the food industry gets free reign. Limiting the reach of junk food marketing helps shift the balance in the right direction. After all, parents can’t do it all alone.
Last year, policy makers were talking about making some improvements to the voluntary marketing guidelines for food companies. What was the industry reaction and what’s happened with those policies?
In 2009, Congress commissioned an Interagency Working Group (IWG)–comprised of the Federal Trade Commission, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the United States Department of Agriculture—to draft a proposal laying out voluntary guidelines for foods marketed to kids. The proposed recommendations were released for comment last April, and today, this effort to safeguard kids’ health against harmful marketing practices has been effectively defeated. Food and beverage companies wasted absolutely no time in pushing back on these guidelines. They spent over $51 million lobbying in 2011, released a report claiming these guidelines would eliminate jobs, and issued white papers (falsely) claiming the guidelines violate the First Amendment. The IWG eventually bowed to industry pressure, and the guidelines were never released.
Featured voice: Juliet Sims, Prevention Institute
Reports and Resources
Restricting Food and Beverage Advertising in Schools
Fast Food FACTS: Food Advertising to Children and Teens Score
Children as young as age 2 are seeing more fast food ads than ever before, and restaurants rarely offer parents the healthy kids’ meal choices. The new evaluation, the most comprehensive study of fast food nutrition and marketing ever conducted, shows that fast food marketers target children across a variety of media and in restaurants. [...]
Food Marketing to Youth: Current Threats and Opportunities
No matter how much parents restrict television, junk food marketers have found plenty of ways to get around commercials. They find youth on cell phones, scoreboards, school incentive programs, and even inside textbooks. Every year, parents are undermined by $1.6 billion dollars of marketing designed to get children to consume products like fruit drinks, soda, fast food, and sugary breakfast cereals. To find out more about what the food industry has done to scale back and how to get involved on the policy level, check out this quick read from the Rudd Center.
From the Blog
Wendy’s What Are You Waiting For: Calling on the Fast Food Giant to Stand up For Farmworkers
One of the highest earning fast food chains in the country, Wendy’s comes in at number two behind McDonald’s. Nearly 6,600 restaurants in the U.S. and around the globe afford the company serious market power— influence that can go a long way to shift purchasing practices. Instead of leveraging that power to demand lower prices from suppliers, Wendy’s could be rewarding growers who respect workers’ rights.
Reduce, Reuse, Rebrand? Coca-Cola and Chicago Team Up to Greenwash
What if you woke up one morning to learn that your community had become enlisted to advertise for Coca-Cola? You didn’t have a choice. People in neighborhoods across your city were told the same thing. That’s basically what happened in the city of Chicago this week when Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a partnership with Coca-Cola.