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Archive: Kids Marketing

Kids Ad Cop Has a New Stick

So the long-awaited revised guidelines for children's advertising are finally here. It only took the advertising industry more than 30 years to write a full revision of the guidelines, which are used to make sure ads aimed at kids under age 12 are truthful, accurate and appropriate. The job of policing children's advertising falls to the Children's Advertising Review Unit, which, even though it was created by the ad industry, is run as part of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. It's a self-regulatory body. That means the industry sets the standards. Things were no different this time around. Representatives...

 

By Annys Shin | November 15, 2006; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Are Underoos Evil?

I'm back from the Campaign for a Commercial-free Childhood Summit in Brookline, Mass., and I bring you this dispatch from the epic battle for the hearts and minds of American kids. I have to say, as someone who grew up with the commercial onslaught of the first blockbuster movies (Star Wars, Jaws, E.T., etc.), I registered the criticisms many of the speakers had about the influence of commercialism on children with a mixture of alarm and skepticism. ('Course I tend to have the same reaction to just about everything.) On the alarming end was the push toward creating programming for...

 

By Annys Shin | October 30, 2006; 09:00 AM ET | Comments (42)

Pirates of the Caribbean Cauliflower...Argggh!

The Walt Disney Co. announced yesterday that from now on it would associate its characters and brand with foods that meet certain nutritional guidelines. The move is part of a larger effort by media, food, and beverage companies to do more to combat childhood obesity. The announcement doesn't necessarily mean no more Incredibles Super Sundaes. Disney will keep licensing indulgence foods such as birthday cakes. The company's goal is to limit the amount of such items to 15 percent of its licensed products. Disney got high marks from a few kids marketing critics. But most wondered whether the giant media...

 

By Annys Shin | October 17, 2006; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (21)

Ads Add Pounds, Not Programs

Today, I'm taking a break from the Deadly Spinach Outbreak to go back to school. (For those who can't get enough of the E. coli hunt, check out today's installment.) No, I wasn't inspired to switch subjects because of the seemingly random comment from reader Ein Lo Sechel, who wrote: "I live in 33135 Las Vegas, Nevada. Have you been here before?" in response to a previous post by Caroline titled "Say Goodbye to Sugary Soda in Schools." Instead, what caught my attention was a paper by a crack team of researchers at Arizona State University who looked at in-school...

 

By Annys Shin | September 21, 2006; 08:42 AM ET | Comments (7)

Are you there God? It's Me, Lashexact Mascara

This month, "Cathy's Book: If Found Call (650) 266-8233," hits bookstore shelves. And some fear young adult novels will never be the same again. The publisher of Cathy's Book, Running Press which is part of Perseus Books Group, has forged a marketing partnership with Cover Girl Cosmetics, owned by Proctor & Gamble, to mention Cover Girl products such as Lipslicks lipstick in the book. P&G is not paying Running Press, but it plans to showcase the book on a Web site aimed at teenage girls. P&G wasn't as bold as jewelry maker Bulgari, which in 2001 actually contracted novelist Fay...

 

By Annys Shin | September 18, 2006; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

Kids, Listen Up--or Maybe Not

Is Bus Radio "a low-grade form of child abuse" or a clever way to protect schoolchildren from inappropriate, sexually-loaded advertisements? I guess it all depends on whom you listen to. BusRadio is a start-up company in Massachusetts, the latest brainchild of the kids-marketers who gave schools free book covers full of bold, colorful ads for Kellogg's, McDonald's, Calvin Klein, Nike and other major national advertisers. Now, Michael Yanoff and Steven Shulman want to create a private radio network that plays music, public-service announcements, contests and, of course, ads, into school buses. As BusRadio's Web site explains: "Every morning and every...

 

By | August 2, 2006; 07:00 AM ET | Comments (287)

Advergame, Advercate, Advertise!

Imagine Nestle Push-Up frozen treats popping up all over the place. At kids.iceream.com, you--or more likely your kids--can bop those treats down again and again. Or your kids can visit candystand.com and bowl with Lifesavers "to discover the refreshing flavors." If that's not their game, there's Chips Ahoy! Soccer Shootout, Chuck E. Cheese's Tic Tac Toe, Pop-Tart Slalom, M&M Trivia and lots more. Advergaming (online games) are by no means as extensive as traditional TV advertising, but they have been designed to be more engaging--and for longer periods of time--than traditional ads. Online, kids can return again and again to...

 

By | July 20, 2006; 09:45 AM ET | Comments (0)

Watching Children Watch TV

One in three children between the age of 6 months and 6 years have a TV set in their bedrooms. And children who have TVs in their bedrooms spend an average 30 minutes more per day watching TV than those who don't. These are just two of the fascinating findings in the latest Media Family report issued by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation on Wednesday. The report's findings will certainly be used as fodder in the growing debate about how young a child should be allowed to watch TV. Despite the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that babies under...

 

By | May 25, 2006; 07:39 AM ET | Comments (35)

Say Bye to Sugary Soda in Schools

The beverage industry is scheduled to announce today that it is voluntarily removing high-calorie soft drinks from all schools. In an agreement to be announced by former president Bill Clinton, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) and the head of the American Heart Association, the industry also will limit the amount of other sugary beverages, such as fruit drinks, in school vending machines. But diet soft drinks will continue to be sold in high schools that allow such products. The agreement calls for eliminating sales of sodas, diet sodas, sports drinks, juice drinks, apple juice or grape juice in elementary schools....

 

By | May 3, 2006; 02:45 AM ET | Comments (75)

The Growing Baby Video Market

How young is too young to watch TV? Despite the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendation that children under 2 should not watch TV, there's a growing baby-video business. Baby Einstein, for instance, sold $200 million of baby-media products last year. And next month Sesame Street is launching a new DVD series for babies and toddlers, the first time the reknowned children's media firm has targeted its marketing efforts on children under 2. The companies say the products are all educational, but many psyschologists and pediatricians, including T. Berry Brazelton, say there's no evidence these are good for babies; in fact,...

 

By | March 21, 2006; 10:14 AM ET | Comments (1)

Should the 30-Year-Old Guidelines Governing Kids Marketing Be Revised?

How vigorous should the advertising industry be in policing itself, particularly when it comes to promotions aimed at children? That's the question that will be at the heart of the debate soon to be underway by a new task force just named to review the industry's 30-year-old self-regulatory guidelines on children's advertising. To lead the review, the Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU) has tapped a longtime Washingtonian attorney, Joan Z. (Jodie) Bernstein, who headed the Federal Trade Commission's consumer protection division during the Clinton administration. The broad review comes two months after a prestigious national science panel called on the...

 

By | February 6, 2006; 10:00 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Latest Salvo Against Junk Food

The campaign against junk food climbs to a new level today as two consumer activist groups--both highly critical of advertising aimed at kids--begin legal proceedings against Kellogg and Viacom, the owner of children's cable TV network Nickelodeon. The Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood have sent both companies letters notifying them of the groups' intention to file suit in Massachusetts to get the companies to stop advertising junk foods on shows where 15 percent of the audience is younger than 8 years old. The letters are required under the state's consumer protection...

 

By | January 18, 2006; 01:10 PM ET | Comments (53)

Pint-Sized Sodas, Big-Number Calories

Went to the movies this weekend at a Loews Cineplex theater and was delighted to see a promotion for a child's popcorn and soda. What a great idea! But wait, look at the size of that soda! That doesn' t look kid-sized to me. In fact, the cup was for 16-ounces of soda. That's 33 percent more than the 12-ounce soda that comes with McDonald's Happy Meals. To put it nutritionally, that's 150 calories and 40 grams of sugar compared to 110 calories and 29 grams of sugar. That may not sound like a big difference, but as my waistline...

 

By | January 16, 2006; 08:00 AM ET | Comments (3)

 

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