Disney forbid the advertising of junk food aimed at kids
12th June 2012
It has been announced that from 2015 in the U.S. there will be no longer any junk food adverts broadcast during any of Disney’s television channels, radio programs and its website. The company announced the news last Tuesday and said that they will be carrying out a ‘Mickey Check’ approval on all foods it deems to be nutritious. The Mickey Check will be seen at all of its parks, resorts, stores and online. Some basic guidelines it will put into place include no meal having more than 600 calories in it and any cereal that contains 10g or more of sugar will be banned from being aired.  The new proposals from Disney came a week after New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced plans to tackle obesity in the city, stating that he wanted to prevent the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces in places such as delis, restaurants, theatres and vending carts. In addition, only last year leading companies in the U.S. such as Kellogg’s, Kraft and Coca-Cola, all agreed to adhere to nutritional criteria in regards to any particular product that was being aimed at children under 12 years of age. Disney’s rules will not take effect for another three years though. This is due to existing advertising agreements that are in place. However, the proposals were met with praise from First Lady Michelle Obama, who also fronts a campaign that is trying to cut down on child obesity. Obama commented, “Just a few years ago if you had told me or any other mom or dad in America that our kids wouldn’t see a single ad for junk food while they watched their favourite cartoons on a major TV network, we wouldn’t have believed you.” It is unclear at the moment just how much money Disney stand to lose out on from the changes to its advertising alterations, but they hope that businesses will appreciate the potential lost opportunity from being able to advertise via Disney’s outlets, and thus manufacture products that do meet the guidelines.  Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger however, clearly welcomes the forthcoming changes, commenting, “We’re taking the next important step forward by setting new food advertising standards for kids. The emotional connection kids have to our characters and stories gives us a unique opportunity to continue to inspire and encourage them to lead healthier lives.”