Kids Block Qubo Refuses Junk Food Ads

Aug 28, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Going the next step in the controversy over food advertising targeting children, the producer of NBC and Telemundo’s three-hour Qubo block of kids shows is pledging to limit any food ads running during the programs to more nutritious products.
Ion Media Networks partners with NBC Universal, Scholastic, Corus Entertainment and Classic Media to produce Qubo’s programming and then sells NBC’s and soon Telemundo’s ad time. Ion unveiled the broad pledge Monday, saying the announcement formalizes a practice it had quietly put in place.
Disney ABC, Time Warner (which owns Cartoon Network), Viacom (Nickelodeon) and Discovery Networks have announced plans to limit licensing of their kids characters to more nutritious foods. To date, however, they have rejected calls from some legislators and Federal Communications Commission officials to restrict what food ads they’ll accept and air.
Ion’s announcement is the first indication that further changes may be forthcoming as marketers and media companies try to forestall questions on whether ads for less nutritious products are playing a role in growing childhood obesity.
Ion said it will feature health and nutrition themes in its programming and that its ad limits will apply to its broadcast channel, available in 60 markets as well as on some cable systems.
Ten major food and fast-food marketers, who in 2004 accounted for two-thirds of kids food marketing, have said they will either pull their ads from programming aimed at kids under 12 or limit their marketing to more nutritious products, lessening the impact of the media companies’ moves. However, legislators and the FCC continue to push media companies to do more.
“The Ion media network is committing to a bold and innovative plan to promote a healthy lifestyle for our nation’s youth,” said Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.
“In the midst of a public health crisis of surging rates of childhood obesity and diabetes in children, these steps forward show that industry is headed in the right direction,” Harkin continued. “I am hopeful that other media companies will commit to similar responsible initiatives.”
FCC chairman Kevin J. Martin said Ion’s decision “demonstrates industry leadership and a commitment to the health and well-being of our children.”
ION is a member of the ad hoc task force on children and obesity created by Mr. Martin, fellow FCC commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate and Sens. Harkin and Sam Brownback, R-Kan.
In a statement, Ion CEO Brandon Burgess said Ion’s pledge represents an effort toward “raising the bar for children’s programming.”
(Editor: Horowitz)


  1. Is this for Natinoal “ion television” or the O&O’s such as WPXD 31/48 (DTV 33)? Its not really clear.

  2. Nice!! Great Ifo. Great People. Great Blog. Thank you for all the great sharing that is being done here.

Your Comment

Email (will not be published)