UPDATED: Disney ad limits put teeth in nutrition guidelines - The Packer

UPDATED: Disney ad limits put teeth in nutrition guidelines

06/05/2012 03:10:00 PM
Mike Hornick

Tristan Simpson, director of marketing at Irwindale, Calif.-based Ready Pac Foods, also supported Disney’s move.

“We’re pleased to see them take that stance on delivering healthy messaging for children,” Simpson said. “That’s the whole premise for our initiative to launch products with a company like Disney.”

Advertising decisions are a separate matter for Ready Pac.

“Beyond Disney, what we look at is how to maximize our spend,” she said. “It’s much more expensive to do broadcast than digital. But we’re open to it.”

‘Mickey Check’ icon

The new Disney policy includes some provisions that take effect sooner, according to spokeswoman Michelle Bergman. For example, a “Mickey Check” icon that singles out nutritious items will appear on licensed products and in other venues by the end of 2012.

Since 2006, Disney Consumer Products has sold more than two billion servings of licensed fruits and vegetables in North America. Now 85% of all U.S. licensed products meet Disney’s nutrition guidelines, and the company plans to further reduce sugar and sodium.

The ad restrictions apply to Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Radio Disney and Disney-owned online sites for children.

More support

Elizabeth Pivonka, president of Produce for Better Health Foundation, attended the announcement in Washington, D.C.

“(The standards) are a perfect complement and support mechanism to the recommendation to make half the plate fruits and vegetables, whether fresh, frozen, canned, dried or 100% fruit or vegetable juice,” Pivonka said in a news release.

Lawrence Soler, chief executive officer of the Partnership for a Healthier America, also welcomed the new Disney policy.

“While there is much more to do, (the) announcement is a testament to the important role the private sector plays in making the healthy choice the easy choice for busy parents and families,” Soler said in a news release. “We hope this commitment will inspire others to adopt similar standards so that together, we can bring an end to the childhood obesity crisis.”

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