The Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood does not think rapper Sir Mix-A-Lot and Nickelodeon’s Spongebob Squarepants are a natural pairing, and when Burger King is brought into the mix, it finds double the offensiveness.
CCFC wants the ad pulled, and is sparking a letter-writing campaign to Nickelodeon and Burger King to accomplish that goal.
“It’s bad enough when companies use a beloved media character like SpongeBob to promote junk food to children, but it’s utterly reprehensible when that character simultaneously promotes objectified, sexualized images of women,” said CCFC director Dr. Susan Linn.
She added, “Cartoon characters play a powerful role in the lives of young audiences. That Burger King and Nickelodeon would sell Kids Meals by associating a beloved, male character like SpongeBob with lechery shows how little either company cares about the wellbeing of the children they target.”
The advertisement was shown during a telecast of the NCAA basketball finals, among other programs.
RBR/TVBR observation: At some point, parents have to accept responsibility for their children. Our own children are quite aware of fast food – they just don’t get it very often.
When our children were younger, they were part of a vast word-of-mouth network that kept them utterly up-to-date on what toys were being offered where regardless whether they had been watching a lot of TV or not. We believe it was partly a result of advertising, but it also hinged a great deal on reports from children who had actually visited pertinent restaurants.
As they have grown older, they have joined us adults in the opinion that fast food is there when circumstances make it the only viable convenient option or as an occasional treat, but is nothing they’d want to consume on a regular basis.
As for the ad itself, we watched it. Are children have heard the Mix-A-Lot song before, and they are aware that people have butts (children generally love butt jokes). Maybe we’re too tolerant, but quite honestly the ad did not set off any parental alarm bells whatsoever.