Today CNN reported that Masterfoods would stop marketing its products, for children under the age of 12, by the end of the year. This includes the marketing of products like M&Ms, Mars, Snickers, Twix, Skittles, Starburst, and Milky Way in both print and new media.
It is safe to say that there is a problem in this country with obesity, but could this be the first step to an involuntary ban on advertising for high-fat, unhealthy foods? Think cigarettes. Certainly, I can’t think of a redeeming factor for the cancer-stick, but isn’t it a bit unfair for the companies to be banned and fined for doing their job?
Maybe I just don’t like to be told what I can and cannot have—after all, trans-fat makes freedom fries delicious—but I am not siding with the cigarette manufacturers or candy makers. Maybe instead of pulling advertising from “bad” products, companies should work on educating consumers (See Philip Morris USA) on good and bad decisions and let the consumer dig (or eat) his or her own grave?