Monday Moaning

Food firms ‘market to children online’

Most children use the internet at home

Unhealthy food is being “shamelessly” promoted to children online to get around bans on television adverts, campaigners have claimed.

The British Heart Foundation cited websites by Cadbury’s and Nestle as examples of “cynical marketing”.

Sites used childish language, games and free gifts to appeal to children, according to the report.

But an Advertising Association spokesman insisted online promotion to children was strictly controlled.

The vast majority of UK children now use the internet at home, often in preference to television viewing.

The Advertising Standards Authority’s broadcasting code prohibits adverts for unhealthy food within children’s television programmes, or any programme which appeals to under-16s.

However, this code does not extend to material on websites aimed at children, although a separate regulation forbids any advert which might encourage “poor nutritional habits” or an “unhealthy lifestyle” in children.

Despite this, the BHF, alongside the Children’s Food Campaign, says that this different approach gives firms more scope to promote unhealthy foods.

With a significant proportion of children overweight or obese, even at primary school age, they want the blanket ban on marketing extended to cover the web.

‘Preying on children’

Examples of websites cited by the campaign was a site promoting Nesquik – a milkshake powder high in sugar.

Titled the “Imagination Station”, the site is hosted by an animated rabbit character and including a quiz game and a guide to making a spacesuit.

Another site, for Cadbury’s Buttons, which contain 6.2g of saturated fat per packet, was called “Buttons Furry Tales”, and also involved animated characters, games and puzzles, although an “adult” year of birth had to be provided to gain entry.

A third, for Cheestrings, manufactured by Kerry Foods, involves a personal greeting from another cartoon character, and a list describing 101 things they can do before they are 11.5 years old.

Cheestrings fall foul of the children’s television ban because each portion contains a third more salt than an average pack of ready salted crisps.

Mubeen Bhutta, from the BHF, said: “Junk food manufacturers are preying on children and targeting them with fun and games they know will hold their attention.

“Regulation protects our children from these cynical marketing tactics while they’re watching their favourite television programmes but there is no protection when they are online.”

Opinion:

These companies and corporations need to be stamped on, and stamped on hard!

They are totally unscrupulous, they have no conscience that is not measured in money.

They will stoop to anything, they will exploit every loophole. They don’t care if the world’s children get fat, as long as the money keeps rolling in.

High rates of morbid obesity in Brazil

Obesity in children is a major plague on this planet, not only in the developed world but other places like Brazil. Here a large proportion of the children are obese (6.7 million), what is more alarming is the high rate of morbidly obese amongst them. Obesity is considered one of the ten major causes of death.

Yet, the companies and corporations are allowed to run amok.

There needs to be worldwide control of these companies.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. This is “off-topic” AV (although the subject of this post is so disturbing and changes need to be made NOW).

    I just wanted to swing by and wish you the happiest of holidays. It has been my pleasure to blog along with you and to count you as a friend. I truly appreciate your integrity and your ability to expose the truth of our life on this planet. Happy 2012 and I’ll “see” you again in January!

    Like

    Reply

    • @SF, thank you and the same to you and yours (again for here). You talk of integrity, one has to appreciate yours as well, while it is aimed differently and CTWW is only one part of my blog, it is all important. Once again, look forward to January and more participation in CTWW.

      AV

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      Reply

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