• FCC To Study Link Between Obese Kids and Ads
  • October 31, 2006 | Authors: Jeffrey S. Edelstein; Linda A. Goldstein
  • Law Firm: Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP - New York Office
  • Not to be outdone by federal lawmakers or its fellow agency the Federal Trade Commission, the Federal Communications Commission announced on September 29, 2006 that it, too, would convene a task force to study the link between media and advertising and childhood obesity.

    The research linking childhood obesity with media and advertising “troubles me as a parent and as chairman of the FCC,” FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said at the Capitol Hill event announcing the initiative. “Small children can’t weed out marketing messages from their favorite show, especially when marketing campaigns feature favorite TV characters like SpongeBob and Scooby-Doo.”

    The task force will meet “throughout 2007,” said Senator Sam Brownback, who is involved in the endeavor. At some point it will publish a report of its findings.

    Participants in the task force are to include Disney, Sesame Workshop, Children No, the Beverley LaHaye Institute, the Parents Television Council, and the Benton Foundation.

    Significance: Childhood obesity and its causes continues to be a hot topic and it has already produced numerous studies by governmental, advocacy, and trade groups. The FCC apparently has decided that it, too, wants a piece of the action.