The Association of National Advertisers pointed us this morning to a post on the ANA blog by the organization’s government relations chief Dan Jaffe (at right) about the marketing industry’s attempts to curb childhood obesity and how little its efforts are being recognized. Jaffe outlines a number of steps the industry has taken, from an Ad Council campaign on how to combat obesity to the self-regulation undertaken by the Children’s Advertising Review Unit. He then goes on to cite facts and figures regarding how advertising “is not a major factor in the obesity challenge.” We’ve no doubt the ANA has done its homework on this issue, but trying to change public perception of advertising’s role in childhood obesity seems like a losing battle, no matter how many facts and figures are thrown our way. All it takes is sitting through one half-hour of Cartoon Network programming with a seven-year-old, who consequently pines for the sugar-laden snacks he saw on TV, to get what we’re talking about.
—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor