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NBC, Telemundo Expand Ban on Junk-Food Ads to Local O&Os

Sep 26, 2007  •  Post A Comment

NBC Universal is expanding a ban on so-called junk food ads from its Qubo block of kids informational programming to include ad breaks in that programming on the local stations it owns, putting more pressure on other networks to follow suit.
The network announced today that NBC’s and Telemundo Networks’ 26 owned-and-operated stations would stop taking the ads effective June 1.
Ion Media Networks partners with NBC Universal, Scholastic, Corus Entertainment and Classic Media to produce Qubo’s programming; ION then sells ads for it and a similar block on Telemundo. Last month ION pledged publicly to stop airing ads for unhealthy foods during kids informational programming including the Qubo block.
ION at the time said the pledge formalized a practice that had already been put in place. It also said it wouldn’t sell the ads on its own channel, which is seen in 60 markets and on some cable systems.
Now NBC Universal is expanding on that pledge.
“Our recognition that obesity is a serious threat to Hispanic children’s present and long-term health has been at the forefront of our community efforts for some time,” said Ibra Morales, president of Telemundo Stations Group.
Executives of ION and Telemundo sit on a task force on childhood obesity created by two senators and several FCC commissioners, and Ms. Morales credited the move in part to the task force.
While broad in concept, the pledge’s actual impact could be small. Ten marketers responsible for two-thirds of kids food ads in 2004 have pledged to either drop advertising on kids shows or limit ads on the shows to more nutritious products.
(Editor: Horowitz)

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