Marketing to Children

The food industry is extremely competitive. That’s why food companies like McDonald’s, General Mills, and Kraft target children at young ages, to ensure brand loyalty as soon as possible. But this practice is inherently deceptive because young children do not have the cognitive capacity to even understand what marketing is. In response to criticism, the food industry is currently engaged in a clever charade called voluntary self-regulation, a toothless set of rules that has proven for decades to be a dismal failure. Unfortunately the federal government is going along with this non-system.

What can we do about it? Plenty. For starters, we should stop letting industry and policymakers alike scare us into thinking the First Amendment is an insurmountable barrier to regulating advertising. Eat Drink Politics can help you navigate the complex world of food marketing to children and find viable solutions to this predatory practice. We can also provide experts for litigation consulting.


The Fallacy of Marketing “Healthy Food” to Children

By focusing on marketing, Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign won’t save our children’s health Michelle Obama is probably the most popular first lady in recent memory, with approval ratings embarrassingly higher than her husband’s, at least in 2012. She is the picture of health, speaks openly about the challenges of raising two daughters and feeding [...]

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The Other NRA: National Restaurant Association eviscerates the rights of customers, workers, and children

By Michele Simon and Saru Jayaraman Food movement leaders tend to stick to their specific issues, whether it’s advocating for healthy food, fighting for workers’ rights or curbing marketing to children. For each of these issues, there are numerous food corporations that need to change. But there is one organization that conveniently provides us with [...]

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Holding Big Food Accountable for False Claims of Responsible Marketing to Children

by Michele Simon and Cara Wilking Looking back at 2013, while the food movement made progress in certain areas (such as school food and GMO labeling), when it comes to exploitative food marketing to children meaningful change remains elusive. Let’s Move director and White House chef Sam Kass recently acknowledged the obvious when he said [...]

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Media Coverage for Clowning Around with Charity Report

I am pleased to see so many media outlets take an interest in my recent report, produced in collaboration with Corporate Accountability International and the Small Planet Fund.  Below is a round-up of the coverage so far. USA Today: McDonald’s slammed over Ronald McDonald House giving. Also published in: -       Democrat and Chronicle -       Tucson [...]

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Clowning Around with Charity: How McDonald’s Exploits Philanthropy and Targets Children

New report from Eat Drink Politics exposes McDonald’s charitable activity as a marketing tool to deflect critics Pop quiz: Who do you think funds the hundreds of Ronald McDonald Houses around the nation? McDonald’s right? Sort of, but not really. While McDonald’s gets 100 percent of the brand benefit from Ronald McDonald House Charities, the [...]

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