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Ideology of the
•Why Regulate Advertising:
“Some might say that the very
idea of regulation of advertising
is incompatible with the
concept of a free market. In
fact, I believe, the opposite is
true. One of the fundamentals
of a market economy is the free
flow of information about
goods and services offered for
sale ,,and informed consent by
consumers.. Mary Azcuenaga, FTC
•Children as vulnerable
Advertising Standards Code
Ads to Kids Guidelines
The purpose of the Code is to serve as a guide to advertisers and agencies in
preparing commercial messages which adequately recognize the special
characteristics of the children's audience. Children, especially the very young,
live in a world that is part imaginary, part real and sometimes do not
distinguish clearly between the two. Children's advertising should respect and
not abuse the power of the child's imagination.
The foregoing does not imply a call for the elimination of fantasy in children's
advertising. Many childhood possessions become particularly meaningful as
they are incorporated into the child's fantasy world and it is natural and
appropriate to communicate with this audience in their own terms. But such
presentations should not stimulate unreasonable expectations of product or
premium performance.
Imitation and exploration have always been part of the child's learning process
and the broadcast media now form part of that experience. Discretion and
sensitivity will be exercised by the Children's Clearance Committee when reviewing
children's advertising, particularly with reference to sex-role stereotyping and
violence consistent with the principles of industry broadcast self regulatory codes
such as those endorsed by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB),
Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
It is recognized, of course, that it remains the primary responsibility of parents
"to instruct a child in the way that he/she should go". The Code and the
Guidelines that are issued from time to time are designed to help advertisers avoid
making that task more difficult.
• Irwin Toys vs Quebec and the ban on marketing to
kids under 12 as commercial manipulation
• Review of advertising standards: what are the
criteria and rationales for regulating commercial
speech to children?
– a) media are public airwaves (no regulation of
commercial speech on the web)
– but at the discretion of the broadcaster (Adbuster case challenges this)
– b)Commercial Speech: in the public interest: defined by
Advertising Standards
a. expresses community values and promotes healthy attitudes
b. does no harm to children
c. is not deceptive or misleading
d. facilitates informed choice in the marketplace
Child Empowerment vs. Corporate
• Are kids vulnerable due to cognitive
limitations ? (recognize commercials and
make critical readings of information)
• Are advertising using deceptive and
misleading techniques? (claims and
• Are there long term cultural consequences
to marketing of children’s products?
Assumption of informed choice
• information about
products is universally
available (vs skewed)
• subjects are capable of a
risk/ cost/ benefit analysis
of their interest in the
• Case of Tobacco
Product is harmful
Product is addictive
Youth not able to make long
term health decisions
Ads are misleading
Promotional Sanctions for Legal
Kids Experience of Gaming
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Nick Yee: On-line Gaming
• Self-defined addiction
• Attempts at control
Flow and Compulsion: DSN -IV
• Flow video games designed to administer intense immersive
• 3 Factors are considered an impulse control disorder:
Frequent, sustained behaviour pattern
give it up other activities to engage it
Commit anti-social transgressions
Feeling out of control,
Tolerance of dose, escalation
Knowledge of problem, unable to manage
Failed attempts to control behaviour
Withdrawal symptoms
• 25% of heavy gamers report at least three
Freq u en cy o f o n lin e co m p u t er g am in g
Mis s in g
On ce o r t wice a m o n t
On ce o r t wice a week
Frequent and
Heavy Use
Alm o s t every d ay
Ho u rs o f o n lin e co m p ut er g am in g p er week
Mis s in g
Les s t h an 2
2- 4
5- 9
17- 25
10- 16
The addictive experience
EQ addictive
Should do other things
CS Addictive
Play too often
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EQ addiction
Beyond control
Loose sleep
Vulnerability to Persuasion in the
New Promotional environment:
Product placements
• Spin-offs and 30 minute commercials
• Cross marketing
• Viral marketing
• Celebrity endorsements
• Implied claims
• On-line embedded marketing and promotions
• Regulatory Environment (knowledge of regulations and right of
– ads in video games programme/
– Katheryn Montgomery On-line Parental Consent
Cultural Biases: Need for Speed
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John (1999) Research on Consumer
Developmental stages of consumer literacy
– 1)What is an ad? Age 5-7 recognize form but what about
the economics? Eg tax write offs to tobacco advertisers
as business expense
– 2)What is its intent? Age 8 state persuade me to buy but
what about brand strategies and parable of the one way
mirror? Ie cool hunting?
Objects of Desire: Just Can’t Get
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Colonization or Liberation of
Youth by the Marketplace?
Recognized youth as market
Recognized identity quest
Recognized pleasure and taste
Enfranchized choices in entertainment and
discretionary spending
• Recognized their role as consumers: their
relationship to marketplace
Cool Hunting: The parable of the
way mirror
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Growing up Postmodern
How can I
Who am I?
Modern Identity
Work to meet needs
Discriminate pain and pleasure
Nation, ethnicity, gender
Postmodern Identity
Manage Self-Esteem
Avoid stress and boredom
Personal Identity
Where do I
Class, roles, norms,
Cultural capital, impression
How can I
Be Happy?
Meet needs, pride in
achievement, status
Manage lifestyle,
Schor Critique: Pathologies of
• Survival needs money: credit; pester power
• Identity: body image; self esteem
• Belonging: culture capital; peer pressures;
gangs and opposition
• Problems of Happiness: depression,
inequalities of opportunity; lack of real
choice/ diversity due to the biases of
corporatized market system
“...the last toy that we bought was that light
thing from Disneyland...because he hounded
us, actually we did it to keep our sanity.”
“constantly nag nag nag ...
I gotta have this mom...
...especially when he is watching the
afternoon TV shows...”
Nag Factor
The Production of Family
Dysfunction: Depression,
compulsion and Conflict
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Body Image and
Self Esteem
Binge eating
Comfort shopping
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Fast Food, Sluggish Kids
Issues of identity and well being in consumer
The Obesity Epidemic: USA
• Population health: rising rates
of overweight and obesity
• Fastest Growth Among Child
Populations (from 4% to 17%
in last 15 years USA)
• Changing diet -since 1980’s
• Half population more than
30% energy from fat
• Caloric intake rises from
2080 to 2347
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Fatland: Critser 2003/ Tim Lang
• Fast Food Culture
Global farming
Production and Distribution
Marketing and Advertising
Cultural Issues
Fatland: Who
is to Blame for
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Adspends: Markets as Food
Promotion Systems
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Food other
Kids - Other
Soft Drinks
Processed Fast Food
Fast Food Restaurants
possible effects of food
advertising on kids
• Exposure: approx 16,000 food ads
• Formation of preferences for sweet and fat:
discretionary spending and peer pressure
• Body ideals/ self esteem: from watching TV
idealized characters
• Fun food, comfort eating, habitual snacking
• Eating while watching: habit in over 70% of
homes (40% watch during dinner)
• Displacement effects of balanced nutrition
• Lack of risk or related knowledge
Fast Food Controversy
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TV and
Is marketing implicated in the
epidemic obesity?
• 1/3 children are 20% over body fat/ 66% of Adults
• Exposure to Fast Food Marketing and discretionary spending?
Do overweight children enjoy advertisements for sweet vs healthy breakfast cereals executed in
the same way more than normal weight children?
Ie assumed model concerns transfer of affect between ad and cereal.
• Dietary shifts and attitudes: comfort eating, fun food, lack of information
• The beauty myth - body consciousness and desire for thin-ness and dieting
• Sedentary Lifestyle Effects
– Reduction in physical activity
– Interest in sports and participation
• Snacking while watching (Robinson 2001)
Comfort eating
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Irresistable Forces
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Fun Foods
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Fun Food/ Cross Marketing
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Advertising Food
Base: 629 children aged 7-16
source: BRMB/Mintel 2003
% respondents
Chocolate bars
Ice cream
Bread or toast
Yoghurt/fromage frais
Burger/hot dog/pizza
Pot snack
Cereal bar
Meat pie/sausage roll
Mousse in pot
Raisins/dried fruit
Some other snack
Do not eat snacks after school
British Survey (Guardian May 10
• 82% want food advertisements regulated
• 79% think food manufacturers irresponsible
• 45% worried about how healthy the food
they eat is
• 52% with children under 18 support ban
• 78% trust consumer groups
Beware the cynical 10 year old
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• I’m not lovin it
• Don’t they know that
food is bad for you
• Why don’t people eat
them -- is it cause they
taste so bad?
Cynical or
• Yes I do know that. I also knew
that, but I don't care. Cause you
can't stop us. Kids outnumber
population on earth, ha, ha. No
I didn't know that one. You
can't control us in our homes
with our parents. I will see my
uncle. You know some day
kids will RULE, RULE I tell
you, and when it happens you
will be banished
I don't think that its ethical that big
companies pay actors and other
guys to show stuff on their movies.
For example, when I watched
Spider-man, when Spiderman just
gets his powers he is shooting his
webs and he gets a Doctor Pepper
™ back. I don't think this is right
because if I was watching a movie I
really liked and then found out it
was trying to get me to buy stuff I
would feel cheated. …. in
conclusion, the leaders of big
companies are morons
Beyond the Canute
Complex:commercialization of
• Commodification: Coke, lunch etc.
• Mediatization: Channel One, Cable in the
classroom, Computers
• Promotionalization: playgrounds, McTours,
Essay contests, branded material, industry
curriculum, social marketing, banks
Channel One
Classroom confidential
Marketing Effort Responds to Obesity Controversy March 08, 2005
By Lisa Sanders
NEW YORK ( -- McDonald's Corp., the world's biggest fast-food chain, today unveiled an aggressively positive global marketing campaign to promote
eating right and staying active, especially in messages geared to children, even as other marketers are shying away from ads aimed at youngsters.Among the healthoriented visual gimmicks in the new McDonald's TV ads is an animated lettuce head character.
Obesity issue
The global effort is clearly a response to the public health advocates, governments and other critics who have called for a crackdown on the food marketers they blame
for an explosion in childhood obesity.
At a crowded McDonald's restaurant in Times Square this morning, McDonald's CEO Jim Skinner introduced the effort, which includes TV commercials, sponsorships
with various media and nonprofit organizations, Web sites, in-restaurant promotions and endorsements from celebrities and athletes, all aimed at families and children.
Nutritional balance The message: People should pay attention to the foods they eat and their level of activity to find the right balance.
"We're focusing on energy balance in this broad-based, global program and providing a framework that will be adapted around the world, country by country," Mr.
Skinner said. "Our size and our strength allow us to set an example."
Added Dean Barrett, senior vice president and global brand business officer for global marketing: "We are listening, we are learning, and we are going to change."
Ad budget shifted
The health-related ads incorporate and expand on McDonald's global tagline, "I'm lovin' it," to say "It's what I eat and what I do ... I'm lovin' it." McDonald's would not
comment on how much the effort costs, though Mr. Barrett said a "significant part" of the company's retail marketing budget aimed at children will instead be allocated
to the campaign in the U.S.
Kraft phases out snack ads
McDonald's, which in the U.S. is partnering with various media companies including children's network Nickelodeon, part of Viacom, and children's publisher
Scholastic, is taking a markedly different approach than other food marketers feeling the heat in the childhood obesity debate. Kraft Foods, for instance, in January
announced it would stop advertising snacks such as Kool-Aid and Oreo cookies to children between the ages of 6 and ll. Kraft this year is phasing out all TV, print and
radio ads targeting that age group, which accounts for about 10% of its advertising budget.
McDonald's Mr. Barrett said, "We have a job to do in communicating this message. We are not going to back away; we are not going to stop talking to kids in ways that
are relevant."
Ads adapted to local markets
The new TV ads, created by Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, feature popular athletes such as tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams and snowboarding
pro Crispin Lipscomb. The commercials are being adapted to local markets globally by Leo Burnett offices worldwide. Other McDonald roster agencies, such as
Omnicom Group's TBWA Worldwide and DDB Worldwide, are also involved in the global adaptation.
The commercial featuring the Williams sisters includes the lyrics "I'm burnin' calories like a fiend. ... Leafy greens so right for you. I'm making good choices, you can,
too," while shots of salads and other menu items are interspersed with shots of the tennis stars on the court.
Ronald sports workout gear
McDonald's is also putting its well-known icon and "chief happiness officer," Ronald McDonald, to work on the new lifestyle mission. The character sports snappy
yellow-and-red-colored workout gear and appears in some of new TV commercials as well as on various packaging and outdoor creative executions, all of which show
him in some form of physical activity, such as scaling one side of an office building.
Fourteen 8- and 9-year-old children from the Police Athletic League in Harlem attended this morning's event as part of PAL's program to encourage healthy diet and
exercise habits in children. "This is a compromise on both sides," said John Alvarez, PAL director of special programs. "Just to have an endorsement from a place that
kids idealize, that's important. At least kids are getting the same message from McDonald's and from us."