Junk food ads target net
TV ban drives marketing online
New rules banning TV ads for junk food during programmes aimed at the under-16s will force firms to punt their wares to kids via mobile phones and the internet, the Children's Food Campaign has warned.
The new regulations came into force yesterday, and the campaign's Richard Watts claimed that purveyors of unhealthy fare are already "marketing to children through chat and social networking websites and online games".
He told the Telegraph: "We are seeing a general growth in the way the internet and text messaging is used to target children with ads. There are a lot of websites springing up where there is an interactive feel. Companies have 'kid zones' where children can play games with their friends."
Ed Mayo, chief executive of the National Consumer Council, recently said: "Parents should be aware that the internet is highly commercial. Every hour that a child spends in front of the computer is like letting them run loose in a shopping centre."
This latest warning about the unhealthy effect technology can have on kids' health come a few months after The Sleep Council found that electronic gadgets were the primary cause of the UK's youth not getting enough kip.
In a poll of 1,000 young 'uns, almost a quarter admitted to falling asleep "watching TV, listening to music or with other equipment still running, more than once a week". Specifically, a third of 12 to 16-year-olds quizzed said they slept for "between four and seven hours a night", while experts say eight hours is required.
The Centre's Dr Chris Idzikowski warned: "This is an incredibly worrying trend. What we are seeing is the emergence of 'Junk Sleep' - that is sleep that is of neither the length nor quality that it should be in order to feed the brain with the rest it needs.
"Youngsters need to be taught a healthy lifestyle includes healthy sleep as well as healthy food. The message is simple: switch off the gadgets and get more sleep." ®
What the hell does Clint Eastwood flying in a top secret, fly-by-mind, superdupersonic Russian aircraft have to do with blocking ads from McDonald's?
Granted....firing a couple air-to-ground anti-armor missiles at fast food restaurants could be seen as a way to curtail consumption by the kiddies...but it seems a tad drastic to me.
And, why use Clint eastwood....or Russian MiGs? I mean I just finished an article stating that Eagle drivers are being retrained to fly drones...couldn't we just employ them to do it with American aircraft rather than just leaning on one septuagenarian actor and a mythical Soviet fighter?
All so confusing....perhaps I am missing something....
Web adverts are very different
The thing about any non-linear medium is it's fairly easy to get around advertising; even the most intrusive web adverts can be mostly declawed fairly easily if required. The problem is with the linear media, there isn't any practical way to miss TV, film or radio commercials other than switching it off altogether.
There is no distinction in the qualitative nature of adverts that is reliant on the size of the company - all adverts have essentially the same purpose and arguing anything else is special pleading. Commercial advertising is intrusive by design, whether it's for Coke or Joe Bloggs' Laundry Express, I don't need to be informed that I have a need with a company being ready to fill it.
But people have conflicting needs; the same people who whinge about the intrusiveness of adverts are the same ones who complain about the cost of the BBC licence fee. You can either pay up front or suffer adverts but you can't have neither. Subscription based services are inherently unfair as they generally only lead to the better off getting access to them and they're commercially risky; if people have to pay for something they'll either take their business to somewhere cheaper or find out they didn't need it in the first place. Only captive markets or de facto monopolies make subscriptions work (see Sky telly, for instance).
If you think billboard and newspaper/magazine adverts only work in concert with TV you are missing the point that they're often designed to target specific demographics you can't reach with TV. TV isn't as pervasive as people think it is because it's very expensive and with so many channels very hard to target. I think anyone being complacent about the impact of advertising or thinking they're less susceptible to it because they don't watch TV is massively under-estimating how deeply entrenched it is.
"Who, in the under-four-feet demographic, doesn't already know about McDonald's, et al?"
McDonalds must be wasting their money on all that advertising then!
For small companies/services, advertising tells the world of your existence. The same is not truee for high profile brands. For McD and Coke, advertising is little short of brainwashing and relies on multiple inputs.
These companies advertise for one reason only: it works.
We don't watch TV in our household and don't listen to radio ads. We see billboards and newspaper ads, but these are of little impact as they are designed as "refreshers" and only really work if you see the TV ads. If you cut out TV ads (and interactive web ads), perhaps 90% of the whole ad impact is removed.