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The New York Times reports that “about 350 food company executives, government officials, consumer advocates and academics packed a meeting room at the Federal Trade Commission's offices yesterday to discuss a wide range of issues on marketing food to children. One topic not up for discussion was the idea of government regulation” of a segment of the advertising business that generates $12 billion a year.

The reason, according to the NYT, that government regulation wasn’t discussed: the government seems to be about as enthusiastic about getting involved with the advertising to kids issue as the industry is about federal intervention.

Deborah Platt Majoras, chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, said that having the government ban the marketing of certain types of foods was "neither wise nor viable,” according to the Times. "Under the right circumstances, industry-generated action can address problems more quickly, creatively and flexibly than government regulation," she said.

The broad concern is that unchecked marketing of fatty food products to children is helping to create the obesity problem in the US.

As reported several days ago on MNB, the industry is looking to find any way to put off government regulation of advertising to children, including developing voluntary regulations.
KC's View:
We agree that a voluntary approach is the best way to create effective change…as long as “the right circumstances” include specific goals and a time frame during which changes must be implemented.

We do think that too many businesses view children as customers, as opposed to natural resources that should be cherished and nourished…which, in the long run, also will be in the best interests of most businesses.