Pulling its weight

Daniel L. Jaffe

One of the most serious challenges facing the ad community involves the continual placing of blame for childhood obesity in the U.S. on food marketing. Consider the comments of Eliot Spitzer, attorney general of New York and a Democratic candidate for governor, in a recent speech: “We must do more to protect our children from a junk food industry that contributes to, and then profits from, record high levels of childhood obesity.”

In the Congress, Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) has legislation that would restore the unfair rule making authority of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the area of food marketing to children, and bills have been introduced in the New York State Assembly and the California State Senate to tax certain TV food advertisements and dedicate the revenue to obesity-prevention programs.