On Eve Of Kids TV Upfront, Advertising To Children Comes Under New Attacks
Feb 25, 2004, 12:00 AM
Marketers in two major advertising categories - food and tobacco - were challenged in two separate developments Tuesday related to their advertising to children. In one effort, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation released a report summarizing a series of well-regarded research studies on the impact that media - including television advertising - have on the eating habits of children and childhood obesity. The main focus of that allegation was a just-released study from the American Psychological Association, which said children under the age of eight are not able to make cognitive judgements concerning advertising claims of any kind and therefore are being unduly influenced by food marketers, now the largest children's television advertising category. The report comes just as marketers and kids TV programmers prepare for 2004-05 kids upfront TV negotiations, and the increased sensitivity could cast a new light on deal-making - especially if food marketers opt to cutback on their kids advertising outlays. Separately, a federal judge Tuesday ruled that the Justice Department could proceed with a $289 billion lawsuit against the tobacco industry, which charges that tobacco marketers such as Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, and Brown & Williamson intentionally targeted their advertising and marketing efforts at underage consumers. The suit cites such advertising campaigns as Camel cigarette's Joe Camel.