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No More Sweetened Saturday Morning Commercials

This morning I woke up to news of the changing face of children's television programming - or at least children's television commercial programming. A group of 11 food companies - including McDonald's, Coca-Cola, and Kellogg's - have announced voluntary limits in marketing towards children. This move is seen as a pre-emptive measure so that the Federal Trade Commission - who is holding a hearing on the subject - will not place regulatory rules that may ban all junk food advertising to children. Sort of a "see, we're good guys don't make us stop!" type of thing.

So what does this mean for children's television? Well, the companies have agreed to stop advertising to children under 12 products that do not conform to a set of nutritional standards. However, it's only for children's programming, not family-friendly programming.

For example, while General Mills will no longer be advertising Trix to the 12-and-under crowd, it will continue to peddle Cocoa Puffs, which have one less gram of sugar per serving. And it will be able to continue advertising Trix on television shows and other media that are considered to cater to “families” rather than just children.

To learn more about the self-regulated ban,

Several companies are also talking about reformulating their recipes in order to meet those standards. And some have even pledged to stop using characters in ads.

But under the new self-imposed industry rules, the captain's Website would be shuttered. Other companies, like Pepsico, have pledged to stop using characters in ads unless they're touting a healthy product. McDonald's plans to only promote Happy Meals that weigh in under 600 calories.

The whole thing is really interesting to me. I'm not sure if it will really make a difference, but I'm still having a hard time trying to picture Saturday morning cartoons without Fruity Pebbles commercials.

Source: MSNBC, NY Times and Marketplace
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Join The Conversation
lintacious lintacious 10 years
this is dumb. the kids aren't the ones buying the cereal. just because your kid sees a trix commercial then says "buy it for me" does not mean you have to!! parents should have enough sense. besides, kids shouldn't be watching tv with commercials anyway...
PinkUnicorn PinkUnicorn 10 years
I think that a federal ban is so unnecessary. What happened to parents being parents and making healthy decisions for their children?!?! Parents should be role models of healthy living, and companies shouldn't be forced to quit advertising just because parents can't be bothered to do their jobs!
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
for real, caterpillar girl. whatever happened to those good old days?
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 10 years
I work with parents through my clinic, and we discuss nutrition all the time since our state has an initiative to battle childhood obesity. Most of them have no idea what the food pyramid is, or what a serving looks like, or how much sugar is in a single can of soda. They think that because its chicken, it must be good for you even though its fried or in a nugget. I look at what they eat for a week, and i am not shocked to see that most everything is starches, sugar, fat and salt. the "white" diet as i call it. I applaud the companies for pulling back thier adverts to kids, but really we need to educate parents on reading labels, and the importance of exercise. I remember during the summer, not setting foot inside my house unless it was to eat, or go to bed. not so much now.
Brandi13jrm Brandi13jrm 10 years
Kis may not do the grocery shopping but if they want something they will bug, harass and beg for it from their parents. All I have to say is High Frutcose Corn Syrup is what is making kids fat... and adults too... I will not buy anything that has that in it... I think it should be illegal to put it in products marketed to kids... like what they did with the whole trans fat thing.
NdHebert NdHebert 10 years
GOOD. Though 'Ecanndallas' is right, most kids dont do the grocery shopping, but if they dont know its out there, they dont want it. My neighbors are healthy and anytime their kids are outside (twins, around 5) they are always chomping on celery, tomatoes, peppers or carrots. I doubt those kids even know who ronald mcdonald is. I think thats great! Though I didnt start to struggle with weight til HS when I could buy as much pizza and chicken fried steak as I wanted.
ccsugar ccsugar 10 years
That picture above really saddens me.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 10 years
I read about this yesterday. I guess it fits in with the whole "we won't advertise our cigarettes to kids" or something. B/c kids will see these things, think they are cool, and beg mommy and daddy to buy them?? That's the logic I'm going with. Whatever. The sooner we turn all advertising around, the better.
rasaka rasaka 10 years
We need to regulate the size of portion we are served... there to big.
Tech Tech 10 years
Self-regulated efforts like this are usually bogus preemptive stunts with no real effect, but I think it is a positive move. Sadly, the "12 and under" categorization is both vast and vague and it's not the only age group that's easily manipulated by advertising. They'll just find another way.
rubialala rubialala 10 years
Interesting plan.
Ashlyn-Rose Ashlyn-Rose 10 years
While this is a good idea, it's entirely up to the parents to regulate what their children eat.
EcannDallas EcannDallas 10 years
um yah i dont know too many 10 year olds that do the family grocery shopping.
bfly1133 bfly1133 10 years
I definitely see the benefits of these self-imposed restrictions and I certainly won't complain about them. However, I still think it is up to the parents or guardians to ensure children are eating a healthy, balanced diet. (And the activity they need.) We still need personal responsibility and adults need to be adults instead of giving into the whims of kids.
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