Disney, The Channel, To Ban Junk-Food Ads

by Greg Pollowitz

The AP reports:

Disney says its programming will no longer be sponsored by junk food.

The Walt Disney Co. said Tuesday that it will become the first major media company to ban such ads for its TV channels, radio stations and websites intended for children. That means kids watching Saturday morning kids’ shows on the company’s ABC network will no longer see ads for fast foods and sugary cereals that don’t meet Disney’s nutrition standards.

The guidelines won’t go into effect until 2015 because of existing advertising agreements.

First Lady Michelle Obama called the announcement a “game changer” in a statement.

“With this new initiative, Disney is doing what no major media company has ever done before in the U.S. — and what I hope every company will do going forward,” Obama said.

I’ll believe it when I see it.

One, PBS doesn’t have ads for “junk food,” but that doesn’t stop them form cashing checks from McDonald’s or Chuck E. Cheese — corporations who “sponsor” their kids’ programming.

Just because there’s no specific ad showing food from ginger clown or the animatronic rat,  it doesn’t mean kids aren’t influenced by what they’re watching. Let’s see what Disney replaces those “junk food” ads with, and more importantly, what they define as “junk food.”

And two, if Disney is so gung-ho to healthy-up their food, might they want to start at their theme parks? Yes, they have healthy options but overall, the food at Disney is embarrassingly crappy. Not just unhealthy, but tasteless.

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