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Cartoon Net Limits Use of Characters

Aug 17, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Time Warner’s Cartoon Network is becoming the third children’s cable network in a week to limit the use of its characters for children’s foods to more nutritious foods.
Amidst continuing concern over childhood obesity, the network announced today a series of nutritional guidelines it will follow and said that it will implement the new requirements for food aimed at kids under 12 starting with new licensing agreements effective after Jan. 1.
The network said it also intends to develop new programming encouraging healthier food choices.
Discovery Communications and Nickelodeon announced similar curbs earlier this week. Disney announced curbs on its licensing last fall.
The moves come as some critics question whether advertising and promotion of poor food choices is a part of the reason for increasing childhood obesity and demand marketers and media companies act to limit the ads kids see to better food choices.
Ten major marketers that in 2004 did two thirds of the advertising of food products to kids recently announced they would either be eliminating their advertising to kids or limiting the use of licensed characters to more nutritious products, making the latest moves by Discovery, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network mostly symbolic.
Since the marketers acted, media companies have been under pressure from Congress and FCC commissioners to impose their own curbs.
Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., chairman of the House Energy & Commerce’s telecom committee praised the latest move calling it a “positive step forward.”
“The childhood obesity epidemic is a pressing public health issue, one that in my view requires concerted action by entities in the food and beverage industry, as well as by media companies providing children’s television fare,” he said. “Children’s television should ideally be an environment for learning and education, not a vehicle for promoting unhealthy dietary choices through marketing to young kids.”

2 Comments

  1. So…no more Fruity Pebbles spots with Fred & Barney?

  2. Well, The Flintstones aren’t Cartoon Network-owned characters. They’re owned by Hanna-Barbera Productions. The Cartoon Network-owned characters include the likes of Foster’s Home For Imaginary Friends, Ben 10, Billy and Mandy, and Codename: Kids Next Door, among other Cartoon Network original properties.
    For the forseeable future, Post will continue using Flintstone characters on their Pebbles cereals. However, Post have been moving away from the animated Pebbles ads in recent months.

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