Open Letter to Disney by the Food Police
On Monday, an open letter was sent to Disney and addressed to Robert Iger, Walt Disney Co. CEO asking them to stop placing or allowing Disney characters on holiday treats from the Center for Science in the Public Interest (“CSPI”). This coming two days prior to one of the biggest candy holidays of the year, Halloween, the letter began by commending Disney on their efforts to help with responsible marketing to children by changing some former policies.
“Disney took a big step forward this year by deciding that it will no longer accept advertisements for many unhealthy foods on children’s television, radio, and online programming, and will update its nutrition standards for licensed characters and sponsorships on the Disney Channel. Your work has made Disney an industry leader in responsible food marketing to children and we look forward to the company’s continued progress in this area…” The Letter from the Center of Science in the Public Interest stated.
What the CSPI is asking is for Disney to take an even bigger step in their campaign for responsible marketing to children. Knowing that kids are always going to want Disney themed birthday cakes, but they are asking for the promotion from everyday marketing campaigns to stop. Listed as “offenders” to this just from the Halloween marketing are:
- Cinderella – Princess Halloween Shape Sugar Cookies manufactured by Pillsbury;
- Halloween – Mickey Mouse Mallow Pops manufactured by Flix Candy; and
- Disney Candy Mix manufactured by Frankford Candy featuring characters from Toy Story, Cinderella, Cars, and Peter Pan.
In conclusion, the letter asks Disney to limit their licensing of characters to companies that are in contrast to what the CSPI considers “responsible marketing to children.”
Disney has responded to the LA Times inquiry with this response:
“Disney inspires kids and families to lead healthier lifestyles through comprehensive nutrition guidelines and food advertising standards that were a first for a major media company. For those special occasions where families enjoy celebrating with our characters, we reserve a mere 15% of our overall licensed food business for specialized items like birthday cakes, holiday and Halloween treats.”
What do you think Disney should do? Who is responsible for your children’s eating habits and does Disney have some responsibility in that? Let me know in the comments below!
- Disney Confidential – Carsland, Hollywood Studios Refurb, and More! (chipandco.com)
- Disney Donating $2 Million to the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund (chipandco.com)