Ontario NDP wants ban on food ads for kids

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Daedalus Daedalus's picture

I too think that all advertising targetting children should be outright banned, permanently. At least, television advertising (I don't mind so much if toy companies want to run ads in print). I was probably in the first generation targetting extensively by advertisers as a child, and I can definately see the effect in later generations as the techniques were refined. The ads generally encourage children to pester their parents for stuff, ie it constitutes an antisocial force in our society. I think there would be tons of support among voters for such measures - its the kind of issue I'd almost consider changing my vote for, except ...

The problem is that it just won't fly even with massive support, and voters know it.  There's just too much cronyism. The corporations would just flip a lid. Even if a bill of some sort passed, it would instantly be neutered and enforced only weakly (there are many good consumer protection laws in Ontario, but you'd never know it from lack of enforcement and general knowledge).

The revenue generated by the most gullible of audiences is just too much to pass up. And it would really be hard to define exactly what is targetted at children. There are even car ads that call on children to harass their parents ... the product may not be directed at children, but now that advertisers have realized the power of children to influence their parent's purchases, even those not selling children's products have jumped on the bandwagon.

Michelle

But I'm sure there's lots of cronyism in Quebec politics, and yet they managed to not only ban food ads but all ads aimed at children.

Unionist

Daedalus wrote:

The problem is that it just won't fly even with massive support, and voters know it.  There's just too much cronyism. The corporations would just flip a lid.

That's right! Why, just imagine if the government tried to ban alcohol or tobacco advertising! It would never fly! Do you have any clue how powerful those companies are?! A  better idea would be to do nothing. Whew, dodged another corporate bullet. Now let's see, maybe we can talk about tax cuts...

 

 

Daedalus Daedalus's picture

Unionist wrote:
Why, just imagine if the government tried to ban alcohol or tobacco advertising! It would never fly! Do you have any clue how powerful those companies are?!

 

Far, far less powerful than the constellation of industries that prey on children (and/or their parents) via advertising. Even insurance agencies are now getting in on the act, using children to harass their parents. State Farm just started advertising on Nickelodeon (a kid's cable channel in the US) for instance:

http://tiny.cc/9aLcZ

Unionist

Daedalus, it's been the law in Québec for 30 years. Nothing is perfect, but this law seems to work. Let's not declare defeat in advance. I started this thread by saying that the ONDP was setting its sights too low. By doing so, it will ironically make it even harder to succeed.

 

Fidel

[url=Child">http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2009/01/22/mtl-obesechildren0122... obesity a growing problem in Montreal: study[/url]

 

Quote:

Montreal children are fatter than those living outside the metropolitan area, according to a new study from Quebec's statistics institute.

The study tracked 2,120 children from birth to age seven, and found more than one-fifth of Montreal children, or 21.3 per cent, are overweight

. . .[url=Poverty[/url]">http://ontariondp.com/ontarios-child-poverty-rate-national-disgrace][col... is a major factor in obesity, and a greater proportion of children who live on the island don't have access to the same food or living conditions as those in other Quebec cities, said Lise Dubois, the study's co-author.

"Families who are poor would need a car to go to the large grocery centres to get very good prices. But often they don't have a car and can't go there, so there's segregation" in terms of access to healthy food, said Dubois, who is an epidemiology professor at the University of Ottawa.

Child obesity is a worrisome trend because of associated health risks such as Type 2 diabetes, which is being diagnosed with increased frequency among younger children, Dubois said

 

But then again, big pharma doesnt really need to advertise drugs to treat diabetes. Because once people have it, theyre hooked on pharmaceutical products like metamorphin and insulin for life.

 

So like Quebec has done, so have Sweden and Norway banned all advertising aimed at children. But those countries have also banned drug advertisements aimed at consumers of all ages. And those countries have have had [url=social">http://www.ndp.ca][b]social democrats[/url] either in political power or strong opposition for long periods of time. And, social democrats in Sweden and Norway have made great strides toward eliminating child poverty in their countries.

 

 

 

 

Daedalus Daedalus's picture

Unionist wrote:

Daedalus, it's been the law in Québec for 30 years. Nothing is perfect, but this law seems to work. Let's not declare defeat in advance. I started this thread by saying that the ONDP was setting its sights too low. By doing so, it will ironically make it even harder to succeed.

 

 

I'll admit I might be a bit pessimistic about its chances for success right now, but realistically speaking its not really a top priority in this province at the moment either. A lot of people in Ontario are in crisis. Have been since the Harris regime - in fact, there are tons of people who were doing better during the Harris years than they are right now, since the Liberals haven't done anything to roll back the Common Nonsense and haven't even managed to keep pace with cost of living increases since then.

The increase to the minimum wage, fighting for health care and so on are the kind of immediate, crisis issues that the NDP is - and very much should be - focused on, particularly as things are getting a whole lot worse quite rapidly right now.

Also I'd like to point out that the hardcore children's advertising was only just firing up 30 years ago. It was still restricted to a few products targetted at children, they hadn't yet figured out that car manufacturers and insurance companies could get in on the act and train children to harass their parents and influence their purchases. It's much different today, there is alot more at stake and it's a much bigger fight. Even if you restrict it to just kid's cereals and snacks or whatever, they'll all sense something in the wind and rally to protect something so very lucrative. It's something that would be met with huge, well-funded, well-connected resistance; possibly still a battle that could be won but perhaps not one that should be sought at the present time.

Unionist

Daedalus wrote:
It's something that would be met with huge, well-funded, well-connected resistance; possibly still a battle that could be won but perhaps not one that should be sought at the present time.

The argument that "it's not a priority" makes no sense to me. No one offered a choice between raising the minimum wage and banning ads targeting kids.

As for "huge ... resistance", project for me how that would work: "Ads for kids keep Ontarians employed!" "Kids have rights too!" "If they don't learn to consume now, they never will!"

Which political party would publicly oppose a ban on ads for kids? And even if they did, how would that harm the ONDP?

 

Daedalus Daedalus's picture

Unionist wrote:

The argument that "it's not a priority" makes no sense to me. No one offered a choice between raising the minimum wage and banning ads targeting kids.

As for "huge ... resistance", project for me how that would work: "Ads for kids keep Ontarians employed!" "Kids have rights too!" "If they don't learn to consume now, they never will!"

Which political party would publicly oppose a ban on ads for kids? And even if they did, how would that harm the ONDP?

 

C'mon ... you and I both know that much money and power and connection and access - we're talking about practically the entire corporate world here - there are plenty of ways to sabotage resistance and enlist loads of consent without being so blunt or obvious about it. It's just not that simple ... for instance, how do you define what constitutes "targetted at children" in legal terms? Featuring children in the ads? Featuring cartoon characters? That's what they would attack ... "There goes that crazy NDP again ... banning cartoon characters in television ads ... " or whatever. It's not the principle they'd attack, they'd go after its formulation.

This province has much more immediate problems, and many of them, and only so many things can be addressed simultaneously. Wheelchair access is a wonderful cause, but it certainly wouldn't be my first concern if I was in Sierra Leone! Similarly I think this province is entering quite a serious crisis that really isn't appreciated by those living well above the minimum wage, and there are immediate problems - loads of them - to address right now.

Unionist

Daedalus wrote:

C'mon ... you and I both know that much money and power and connection and access - we're talking about practically the entire corporate world here - there are plenty of ways to sabotage resistance and enlist loads of consent without being so blunt or obvious about it.

Sorry, I didn't get your answer - which political party in Ontario would oppose this?

Quote:
It's just not that simple ... for instance, how do you define what constitutes "targetted at children" in legal terms?

This thread has been open for one year, and it's not that lengthy. Your question has already been answered. Please scroll up and read the legal language and the published guidelines for its interpretation - [url=here[/url]">http://rabble.ca/comment/897169/Re-Ontario-NDP-wants-ban-food-ads-kids][....

Quote:
This province has much more immediate problems, and many of them, and only so many things can be addressed simultaneously.

You envision a separate provincial election campaign dealing just with ads for kids?

 

Fidel

Unionist wrote:

Daedalus, it's been the law in Québec for 30 years. Nothing is perfect, but this law seems to work.

What exactly has this total ban on advertising aimed at children achieved in Quebec? The CBC article above suggests that child poverty and an increasing rate of child obesity on the island of Montreal are related issues. 

In this province, the ONDP's proposed ban on advertising junk food for children intends to help reduce child obesity and health problems later in life. The ONDP advocates both reducing child poverty as well as banning junk food ads aimed at children.  

 

Unionist

Fidel wrote:

What exactly has this total ban on advertising aimed at children achieved in Quebec? The CBC article above suggests that child poverty and an increasing rate of child obesity on the island of Montreal are related issues.

Omigod, you're right, the ban on ads for kids didn't eliminate poverty, poor health among the working class, and capitalism. And it wasn't an NDP initiative. Thanks for the wakeup call, Fidel.

ETA: I forgot to answer your question. What the ban achieved was to prohibit advertising aimed at children. Just like the bans on advertising of tobacco and alcohol. But I guess if there are still poor kids, smokers, and drunks, might as well repeal those useless bans.

Refuge Refuge's picture

Laughing

Well, if it makes you feel better Unionist, I think your funny. Oh, and I think you right.

Fidel

Unionist wrote:

Fidel wrote:

What exactly has this total ban on advertising aimed at children achieved in Quebec? The CBC article above suggests that child poverty and an increasing rate of child obesity on the island of Montreal are related issues.

Omigod, you're right, the ban on ads for kids didn't eliminate poverty, poor health among the working class, and capitalism. And it wasn't an NDP initiative. Thanks for the wakeup call, Fidel.

ETA: I forgot to answer your question. What the ban achieved was to prohibit advertising aimed at children. Just like the bans on advertising of tobacco and alcohol. But I guess if there are still poor kids, smokers, and drunks, might as well repeal those useless bans.

Well I havent seen many ads for liquor or tobacco targeting children here in Ontario. As far as I can tell, cigarettes arent even on display anymore in our gas stations. And it's still against the law here to serve alcohol to anyone under the age of 19.

And I'm not sure what that might have to do  with increasing rates of obesity among children on the island of Montreal, or even here in Ontario, a province with the largest number of children living anywhere below the poverty line and experiencing rising health care costs due to obesity and related diseases, rising costs of commercially advertised pharmaceutical drugs, etc 

 

Daedalus Daedalus's picture

Unionist wrote:
Sorry, I didn't get your answer - which political party in Ontario would oppose this?

Any of them, maybe both of them. They'd just distort and of course the media (highly beholden to advertisers in particular) will be compliant in such distortions. "The NDP wants to control what kinds of music can be played on television" etc I'm sure the spin doctors will whip up all kinds of stuff if necessary. Not like advertisers have any paucity of in-house talent there.

Quote:
Quote:
This province has much more immediate problems, and many of them, and only so many things can be addressed simultaneously.

You envision a separate provincial election campaign dealing just with ads for kids?

No, where do you get that? There are alot of immediate, critical things to worry about right now, there should be a very strong focus on economic issues and I think there's only so many other issues you can take on simultaneously before focus is lost. Can't we take a raincheck on this one for a few years? On the economic front, there are so many crises to deal with and it's at a time when the public really, really needs the NDP to focus on work and the economy.

Unionist

Daedalus wrote:
Can't we take a raincheck on this one for a few years?

Sure, no problem. After 30 years, what's another few?

BTW, are you sure this is the right time to be raising the minimum wage when so many Ontarians are losing their jobs? Can you imagine what the uber-powerful corporate lobbyists will do with that? "Sure, make it harder to keep Ontarians employed! Good thinking, NDP!" Maybe a whole chequebook full of rain cheques?

 

Refuge Refuge's picture

Daedalus wrote:

There are alot of immediate, critical things to worry about right now, there should be a very strong focus on economic issues and I think there's only so many other issues you can take on simultaneously before focus is lost. Can't we take a raincheck on this one for a few years? On the economic front, there are so many crises to deal with and it's at a time when the public really, really needs the NDP to focus on work and the economy.

So why are you here (in this thread)?  To tell everyone what they are talking about isn't important? 

Fidel

Unionist wrote:

BTW, are you sure this is the right time to be raising the minimum wage when so many Ontarians are losing their jobs? Can you imagine what the uber-powerful corporate lobbyists will do with that? "Sure, make it harder to keep Ontarians employed! Good thinking, NDP!" Maybe a whole chequebook full of rain cheques?

This is another dodge from the central thread issue. But, yes, now is a good time to put more money into the pockets of those living anywhere below poverty line and with low, nil, and negative disposable income, and especially during a recession.  Of course, this would be part of a Keynesian approach to dealing with poverty and all its adverse effects in a province that has raised taxes on everyone but those most able to pay and levied user fees on everything from health care to recreational facilities and provincial park use. Or iow's, our so-called Liberals have raised priceson things that could be useful in raising overall activity levels and life's enjoyments for working poor families and everyone living below poverty line in this Northern Puerto Rico.

Unionist

On February 6, 2009, General Mills pleaded guilty to a charge of violating Art. 248 of the Québec Consumer Protection Act when it advertised its Lucky Charms cereal on a website in a way that was deemed to be aimed at children under 13. They paid a $2,000 fine, but more important obviously was the requirement to remove the ads. [url=Source.[/url]">http://www.opc.gouv.qc.ca/WebForms/CommuniquePresse/CommuniquePresse.asp...

On January 26, 2009, the Consumer Protection Bureau announced that Saputo Bakeries had agreed, just before going to trial, to plead guilty to 22 charges of distributing material in child care centres advertising one of their muffin products called "Igor". They paid a fine of $44,000. [url=Source.[/url]">http://www.opc.gouv.qc.ca/WebForms/CommuniquePresse/CommuniquePresse.asp...

Mind you, with all the crime in our streets and plant closures, perhaps we should stop wasting resources enforcing the petty stuff.

 

Fidel

I wonder if the fines were large enough to make the illegal ads unprofitable

Unionist

Fidel wrote:

I wonder if the fines were large enough to make the illegal ads unprofitable

The law was enough to make the acts illegal. That, besides the fines, is a pretty good start - no? At least it's society saying such brainwashing of children is unacceptable. I just wanted to cite a couple of examples to show that the law is indeed being applied, and even to the internet - although much remains to be done, obviously.

 

Fidel

So aside from the specific issue of child obesity -  in provinces like Ontario, are corporations taking advantage of an absence of Quebec style laws against all advertising aimed at children? I'm actually tired of seeing ads for drugs to enhance the sex lives of middle aged and older people here. And I still see ads for junk food which probably appeal to young and old people alike with no specific target audience identifiable. There are no more tobacco shops located inside major grocery stores here though as far as I can tell.

Daedalus Daedalus's picture

Unionist wrote:

BTW, are you sure this is the right time to be raising the minimum wage when so many Ontarians are losing their jobs? Can you imagine what the uber-powerful corporate lobbyists will do with that? "Sure, make it harder to keep Ontarians employed! Good thinking, NDP!"

 

Yeah, they'll fight about that, and they'll fight hard. But it's precisely the right time to be raising the minimum wage, unless we want to lose all but our luxury consumer base. There won't be any jobs without that. It's a timely fight, especially with the rapid demise of Friedman's ideals and the resurgence of Keynes'.

As far as the children's advertising, I really think its a big issue, they are using it to create consent for a consumerist society at a younger and younger age to the degree that younger generations seem to be having increasing difficulty formulating opinions outside of what's spoon-fed to them by the corporate media. Not only that, they are altering children's behaviours and subverting their parents - a direct attack on the social fabric of our households - in order to enlist the children as high-pressure salesmen, against their parents. I'm not saying it isn't an important issue that needs to be addressed soon - on the contrary I think it's very important.

I just think you're underestimating the resistance that will be thrown up against it and the amount of attention that will need to be devoted to making the first crack. It's a precedent alot of powerful interests will fight tooth and nail to smother.

Unionist

Fidel says it's not a problem in Ontario. Daedalus says the enemy will fight it tooth and nail. Oh well, I'm sure the truth lies somewhere in between. But if it diverts attention from the really big issues, maybe just forget about it.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

dp

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Proaxiom wrote:
I always say there's nothing like a Jos. Louis and a can of Pepsi to start the day off right.

In the 1960s I drove a big Chev 30 dumptruck with dualies to collect castoffs for Ottawa Neighborhood Services, and take crap to the dump. My assistant (and both of us were in grades 10 - 12 during this time) was a year younger than me, but looked ten years older, probably because he started the day exactly as you suggested (and repeated this diet throughtout the day, before and after lunch). He looked older because his face was completely pimpled out and his hair was greasy and unkempt. I never touched a Jos. Louis or Pepsi until very late in the day, when I needed a quick energy fix, precisely of what it did to my assistant. Teenagers in the 1960s ate a lot of shit, and probably still do, but I know a lot of families today where their kids aren't so careless about what they eat. I even see teenagers eating salads today - hardly ever saw that when I was growing up.

Fidel

Unionist wrote:

Fidel says it's not a problem in Ontario. Daedalus says the enemy will fight it tooth and nail. Oh well, I'm sure the truth lies somewhere in between. But if it diverts attention from the really big issues, maybe just forget about it.

I'd like to see study results for the pluses of Quebec's total ban on kiddie advertising. It's great to say that Quebec has banned tobacco and liquor ads targeting 13 year-olds, but I'm not so sure that is a problem in Canada,  not including remote northern regions where it's easier and sometimes cheaper to buy a twelve pack of beer,  sugary pop and a twinkie than three litres of milk, vegetables and fruit. I'm so far unconvinced that Quebec has eliminated child obesity as a direct result of commercial ad bans aimed specifically at children.

I do tend to believe that junk food might be less appealing to everyone if all junk food advertising in sum total was to be banned. But then again, like prices of pharmaceutical drugs are proven to be reduced when marketing overhead is eliminated, so might junk food become even more affordable than healthy food choices. I think, therefore, the feds and provinces should look at supplementing incomes for poor families based on the Canada food guide, or something. And I really like the social democrats' action plan in Scandinavia for making nutritious meals available throughout the school week to children in all neighborhoods regardless of average income.

 

Unionist

Fidel, you have lost it. Québec hasn't banned tobacco and liquor ads targeting 13-year-olds (LOL). It has banned all ads of any kind whatsoever targeting less-than-13-year-olds.

As for obesity, that had nothing to do with Québec's 30-year-old ban. The aim was to protect children (and their parents) from all exploitation via commercial glitz.

 

Daedalus Daedalus's picture

Fidel wrote:
I'd like to see study results for the pluses of Quebec's total ban on kiddie advertising.

 

Me too. Though I wouldn't want it focussed just on health issues, because I don't think that's even the primary concern about children's advertising. My primary concerns about it are that they are training - brainwashing - young children who don't have the ability to make informed decisions and haven't got the capacity to reject consumerism, developing future generations into compliant consumers at the expense of the social fabric in their households and at the expense of the parental prerogative of bringing children up with the values they see fit to impart. That, to me, is the problem - undermining parents, and fostering harmful and antisocial behaviours.

Alot of children's advertising trains children to get what they want by harassing their parents. Much of it illustrates methods for children to do this. Advertisers have gone so far as to hire child psychologists to run studies to learn how to get children to nag their parents more often and more effectively:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=1162415168905488809

They also employ child psychologists to more effectively assault children's self-esteem and a whole host of other revolting techniques of exploitation. It's the exploitation and mental health issues that concern me alot more than the physical health issues. And I would be interesting in seeing a comparative study of these issues in Quebec, relative to other locations in North America where children are freely exploited by sophisticated advertisers. I'd like to see what child abuse rates are like, what mental health issues in youth are like, how parents feel about their ability to protect their children from popular culture and impart constructive values to them, and so on.

Fidel

Unionist wrote:

Fidel, you have lost it. Québec hasn't banned tobacco and liquor ads targeting 13-year-olds (LOL). It has banned all ads of any kind whatsoever targeting less-than-13-year-olds.

Well I'm sorry you mentioned it above in one of your posts. But that's exactly what I was getting at - how would a total ban on ads for children in general affect rising child obesity, the real issue here? The medical people dont seemed to be concerned with a total ban just those ads aimed at pushing junk food on children. Can you point us to something that says a Quebec style ban on all children's ads is required to stem rising rates of child obesity, yes or no?

Quote:
As for  obesity, that had nothing to do with Québec's 30-year-old ban. The aim was to protect children (and their parents) from all exploitation via commercial glitz.

But as I was saying before and quoting the CBC article pointing to an actual study of child obesity on the island of Montreal, not all children in Quebec are accessing nutritious food or choosing healthy life styles. So why is it, in your opinion, that children there are in danger of obesity and related diseases later in life? And what, specifically, has the all inclusive ban on ads aimed at children in PQ done to protect Montreal children from obesity and poor health later in life?

 

Unionist

Well, Profs. Kathy Baylis and Tirtha Dhar, of UBC published a 2007 study entitled, "Effect of the Quebec Ad Ban on Junk Food Expenditure". Here's the [url=abstract[/url]:">http://works.bepress.com/kathy_baylis/15/][=red]abstract[/co...

Quote:

With growing concern about childhood obesity and associated health risks, several countries are considering banning food advertising directed to children. In 1980, the Canadian province of Quebec imposed a ban on advertising to children under the age of 13. In this paper, we look at whether the advertising ban affected consumer food choice in Quebec. To the best of our knowledge this will be the first study to explore the effect of the Quebec ban on expenditure.

Using data from the Canadian household expenditure survey and Canada Foodex survey from 1984 to 1992, we ask whether expenditure on fast food is lower in those groups affected by the ban compared to those who are not. Following Goldberg (1990) we control for mother tongue as native english speakers have access to more sources of media from outside Quebec than those families who speak French or other languages. Unlike Goldberg, we use a difference-in-difference methodology across several dimensions, holding family characteristics such as income, education and immigrant status constant. First, we test whether expenditure on fast food by French-speaking families with kids in Quebec differs more markedly than expenditure by English-speaking families in Quebec compared to their English and French-speaking counterparts in Ontario. We also compare consumption of those families whose first language is neither French nor English to Anglophones in the two provinces. Further, given the ban is directed to children, we estimate the effect of the ban by testing the difference in expenditure between households with children and those without in Quebec versus Ontario.

Our second approach is to estimate the effect of the ban by matching households with similar characteristics across Ontario and Quebec. Using both methodologies, we find that for fast food, the primary effect of the ban is to reduce the probability of purchasing fast food as opposed to affecting the amount spent when the family was already in the restaurant. Although we cannot test the effect of the ban directly, we find a miriad of evidence that indicates that the ban had an effect on the number of fast food meals purchased.

You can download the full 42-page study [url=here.[/url]">http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1014&context=kathy_...

Here's some interesting tidbits from the full study:

Quote:
Given that an average fast food meal cost about $3.90, this amount to approximately 11 to 22 million fewer fast food meals consumed due to the ban. With 800-1100 calories per meal, that means that families in Quebec consumed between 9 to 23 billion fewer fast food calories.
[from page 29]

And from the Concluding Remarks:

Quote:
First, we match families by various demographic characteristics across Quebec and Ontario, for families with kids and those without, and fi…nd that families with kids living in Quebec spend signi…cantly less on fast food than their Ontario counterparts.

 

Fidel

from the linked-to study posted by unionist above:

Quote:

Concluding Remarks

 

The consumption of fast food is on the rise along with related health concerns.

Several countries are responding by considering banning advertisements of unhealthy

food to children. One jurisdiction that has experience with such a ban, the province

of Quebec in Canada, has banned advertisements to children since 1980. In this

paper, we study the e¤ect of this ban on fast food expenditure.

 

They seem to be focussed on that part of the Quebec law which bans junk food ads aimed at children, yes?

 

 

 

Unionist

[double post, sorry]

Unionist

Fidel wrote:

They seem to be focussed on that part of the Quebec law which bans junk food ads aimed at children, yes?

Yes, Fidel, you seemed so interested in the junk food aspect that I quoted you a study which happened to focus on that.

But I - me - Unionist - am interested in banning all advertising aimed at all children. It goes beyond food and obesity. The Québec law never was aimed just at that.

I asked you long ago whether you would support such a total ban. I realize the ONDP hasn't called for it yet. I just thought you might step forward ahead of them for a change. I know, I know, I know, but still...

Oh, and if you actually care about the food aspect, why not take a moment and read the full study? You may find it interesting.

Unionist

Fidel wrote:
I'm so far unconvinced that Quebec has eliminated child obesity as a direct result of commercial ad bans aimed specifically at children.

Wow, that's setting the bar pretty high - as if obesity results only from ads!!!

However, here's some more evidence, this time from the [url=Canadian">http://www.cihr-irsc.gc.ca/e/38799.html][u]Canadian Institutes of Health Research[/url]:

Quote:
For more than 25 years, Quebec has had one of the world's toughest policies on the marketing of products to children. Section 248 of the province's Consumer Protect Act prohibits companies from directing their advertising to anyone under the age of 13, effectively preventing sellers of high-fat or super-sweet junk foods from pitching these foods to kids.

According to 2004 StatsCan data, the prevalence of obese and overweight children in Quebec is lower than in the rest of Canada. Children in Quebec also eat more fruits and vegetables and less fast food than children in provinces where industry essentially polices itself when it comes to advertising to children.

 

Fidel

Quote:

"Increasing concern about child obesity has led a number of countries to propose sweeping restrictions on food advertising directed to kids. Several studies have linked childhood obesity to television viewing, and TV advertisements have been targeted as a prime suspect1. In response, in February 2007, the UK banned food advertisements to kids, while Australia rejected such a measure a year earlier, and in 2004, United States Senator Tom Harkin introduced a bill to increase FCC restrictions on all advertising directed towards children."

So British Labour banned food ads while Australia's Liberal government balked. It's not surprising.

And the report goes on to say about the Quebec ad ban and the effect on household spending on junk food: 

Quote:
"One of the weaknesses with the legislation is that it only applies to signals originating inside Quebec. Thus, it does not apply to signals originating in Ontario and the United States. Although Francophone children are not likely to watch the English programs, Caron notes that Anglophone children do spend a large time watching these broadcasts that originate largely in the United States. We use this fact to help identify the e¤ect of the ban."

They seem to suggest that Francophones in PQ are less likely to take in English TV and radio programs broadcast from Ontario and the US than Quebec Anglophones. But the focus of the study was to find out how the Quebec ban affects household spending on unhealthy food, not how it affects household spending on toys or children's clothing, etc, iow's, they werent concerned about the total ban's effect on non-food items.

And I see further on that there was a concern about Ronald McDonald ads for car seat belts and toys with junk food themes.

I'm thinking that a anti-junk food law should be carefully worded to include fantasy-junk food themes as well as toys to food ad agendas.Of course, this is all fine for countries like the UK and Australia if they are careful not to sign away national sovereignty with dumb-dumb free trade deals like FTA and NAFTA and allow increasing foreign ownership and control of news media and communications.

 

 

 

 

 

Unionist

It's not just about food. This is from the [url=Canadian">http://www.toy-testing.org/content/PressReleases/111402advertising.htm][... Toy-Testing Council[/url] in 2001, describing a Media Study Project undertaken with support from Industry Canada:

Quote:
It's something parents have always suspected, but now it's been confirmed: toy advertising to children, especially TV commercials, has a direct influence on child viewers and can create a desire for "hot" toys. In addition, children aged 4-6 years may be unable to make a clear distinction between television programs and ads selling toys to them.

The study monitored advertising to see if it conformed with the 1993 Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children.

Of course, the whole study was irrelevant in so far as Québec is concerned, which rates only this one mention in the release:

Quote:
Advertising to children in Quebec is prohibited by the Quebec Consumer Protection Act.

Bravo!

Fidel

If youre looking for me to agree that Quebec's idea for a ban on commerical ads directed toward children is a good idea, you had me in the first few posts.

Unionist

Fidel wrote:

If youre looking for me to agree that Quebec's idea for a ban on commerical ads directed toward children is a good idea, you had me in the first few posts.

Great - now let's get it done in the rest of Canada!

 

Fidel

[url=http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=17560]Big Food Inc. will do everything to stop you talking about this[/url]
Interview with Robert Kenner (USA)

Quote:
LS: What was the most shocking aspect of making the film?

RK: There were two things. One was early on when we went to a hearing about whether to label cloned meat. A representative from the meat industry said it would be 'too confusing for the consumer'. I realised I had entered an Orwellian world where people are being 'protected' by not being told.

Then when I asked food safety advocate Barbara Kowalcyck what food she eats and she couldn't answer me or she'd be sued. I realised it was not a film about food: it was a film about rights. Seeing how food products now have more rights than individuals - that was more frightening than seeing how the food was produced.

LS: In the film there is a focus on the food system in the US - does the situation apply to the rest of the world?

RK: This is not a film about the US. I thought of filming in other countries and you could have been told the exact same story. It might have started in the US, but it is spreading. It's starting to happen here and it happens in Asia.

I refuse to buy any packaged meat with a USDA inspected label no matter what the price is.

Polunatic2

Talk about a seamless discussion :) 

Daedalus Daedalus's picture

Unionist wrote:

It's not just about food. This is from the [url=Canadian">http://www.toy-testing.org/content/PressReleases/111402advertising.htm][... Toy-Testing Council[/url] in 2001, describing a Media Study Project undertaken with support from Industry Canada:

Quote:
It's something parents have always suspected, but now it's been confirmed: toy advertising to children, especially TV commercials, has a direct influence on child viewers and can create a desire for "hot" toys. In addition, children aged 4-6 years may be unable to make a clear distinction between television programs and ads selling toys to them.

The study monitored advertising to see if it conformed with the 1993 Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children.

Of course, the whole study was irrelevant in so far as Québec is concerned, which rates only this one mention in the release:

Quote:
Advertising to children in Quebec is prohibited by the Quebec Consumer Protection Act.

Bravo!

 

I'd like to see them do a study on the psychological aspects . . .  I'd be curious to find out what else children's advertising does to children, and families. I imagine that teaching children how to whine,  browbeat, and manipulate their parents for stuff causes enormous damage to some households. I suspect the poor attention spans of latter-day generations has much to do with it as well.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Is the attention span of older generations much better?  Perhaps you'd like to tell us where we're all going wrong?

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