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    Grocery chain banning all products marketed to children with cute cartoon characters

    Grocery chain banning all products marketed to children with cute cartoon characters

    A Washington, D.C., area organic grocery store chain is banning all food items marketed to children with cartoon characters, according to a report on Food Navigator-USA. MOM’s Organic Market founder Scott Nash called using cartoon characters on items like cereal boxes or snacks “sleazy” and advertising itself ” a shady game.”

    Nash said that it’s less of a problem for organic stores like his than conventional grocery stores where “half the cereal aisle has got characters on the boxes.” The ten MOM’s Organic Market stores, found in Maryland and Virginia, will be attempting to do what many before them have complained about: shelter children from advertising.

    Starbucks once came under fire for marketing some of its fruit-flavored products at events that draw families, and has even pledged not to specifically target children.

    Are children fair game in the the rough-and-tumble free market or is should we support those companies that choose not to use this approach for selling their products (or getting mom into the store)?

    One thing we ought not to do is regulate the activity through government. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which was quoted in the article on MOM’s, points on its website to the Federal Trade Commission’s regulation of marketing to children, and well as state-based legislation restricting junk food marketing in schools.

    Individual, privately owned retailers like MOM’s of course has the right to choose what products they will and will not sell. Some customers may appreciate their actions, others may choose to shop elsewhere.

    What the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is doing, in effect, is using children to put forth their view of a more regulated and government-controlled society. That seems more like a sleazy and shady game than letting businesses decide for themselves if they want to stock products with cartoon characters.


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    TrooperJohnSmith | January 31, 2013 at 4:40 am

    Organic kids’ products? What self-respecting child would eat such crap? I mean, Cap’n Crunch, Fred Flintstone, Tony the Tiger and Popeye couldn’t persuade any kid to eat that crap. That is because, unlike adults, little kids are not phony or contrived.

    “Mom! Even Bowser won’t eat that new cereal!”

    pilgrim1949 | January 31, 2013 at 9:22 am

    Next up:
    NAG (National Association of Gals) will object to sultry, sexy women (way outside the norm of the majority of female body types) used in all sorts of ads aimed towards men (and *ahem* certain females?).
    ‘NADs (National Association of Dudes) will object to muscular hunks (way outside the norm of the majority of male body types) used in advertising aimed at women (and *ahem* certain males?).
    MENSA members will protest the use of brainless men and women in a variety of commercials.
    To quote ol’ Willie Shakey Spear, “Methinks the lady (man/whatever — primarily [IL]LIBERAL) doth protest too much!”

    jimzinsocal | January 31, 2013 at 9:22 am

    My earlier joking aside? The issue advanced seems silly or frivilous to most normal people. At the same time I recognize its another “cause” added to an ever expanding laundry list.
    If I were going to go after the advertising industry, I might focus my energy on some of the poor messaging we see with ads for 5 Hour Energy Drinks.
    On the tube were subjected to a young guy buzzing like a meth addict because the drink has given him the capacity to “do it all” including his debut album.
    WTF sort of messaging is that? Teach our kids that “something added”…some “drink” results in superhuman performance?.
    And we wonder how kids get the idea drugs are just an option/

    Henry Hawkins | January 31, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Try this:

    1) Take a cereal box with a bright and happy mascot cartoon on it, say… Cap’n Crunch.

    2) Remove all the cereal from the box.

    3) Replace it with shredded wheat cereal.

    4) Pass the box to your kids next breakfast.

    5) Note whether your kids like this cereal with the bright and happy carton mascot.

    6) Decide whether it was the box or the cereal your kids loved or rejected.

    I see this kind of stuff as being harmful to kids.

    Kids learn self-control and good decision making from their parents. When parents try to foist this responsibility onto the government to dictate by law, the kids don’t learn.

    Kids who don’t have parents who say “no” to them and teach them when and how to say “no” to themselves, grow up to be adults without the capacity to do so.

    The best way to protect kids from slick marketing isn’t to hide it from them, its to show it to them and teach them how they’re being manipulated.

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