Oregon takes on kid food ads


Here’s a stat for your next sales presentation, courtesy of the Oregon Nutrition Council: It says that the average American child sees 40K advertisements a year. Wow. Unfortunately, a high percentage of them are for unhealthy eats, a trend the state wants to reverse. It’s not responding in kind with broadcast advertising of its own, but is placing its anti-junk-food commercials message to 200 public buses in the Portland market.

RBR-TVBR observation: Protecting children is a sure-fire political winner in Washington, and elsewhere. Washington was very up in arms about food advertising a couple of summers ago, mounting a task force that included politicians, bureaucrats and watchdogs, including Deborah Taylor Tate, then of the FCC. It seems to have lost a little momentum inside the Beltway, but rest assured it’ll pick up again. And there will likely be more local flare-ups – they can happen anywhere, any time.

So far, however, we have seen no attempt to legislate advertising to children – it’s an area that runs into delicate First Amendment territory and will be difficult to pull off.

There have been a lot of voluntary actions, mainly coming from food manufacturers, distributors and restaurants themselves – and more that industry self-policing can keep the politicians at bay, the better.