We’ve all been there. It’s the end of a long day. We’re wheeling our young child through a grocery aisle gauntlet of cartoon characters beckoning from boxes of food we don’t want to buy. She demands an offending product. Maybe we say no despite her nagging. Maybe we give in. Whatever we do, our day is that much harder because corporate marketers—using one of their most powerful weapons: the media icons beloved by young children—have injected themselves between us and our kids.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. In an unprecedented move, MOM's Organic Market, a grocery chain in the Baltimore and Washington area, announced it will no longer allow marketing to children in its stores. MOM's has rid its shelves of any product targeting children with cartoon-festooned packaging—dropping items ranging from Dora the Explorer frozen soybeans to Elmo juice boxes—and replaced them with alternatives in cartoon-free packaging.
Scott Nash, MOM's founder and CEO, explained why:
“Marketing to children is wrong and should be illegal. Advertising is a shady game. It focuses on creating a shallow emotional attachment instead of pointing out the merits of a product. Unfortunately, it works—and young children are particularly susceptible.”
At CCFC, we often ask for your help in calling out companies that exploit children. But it’s just as important to support companies that do the right thing. So this Mother’s Day, please join us in thanking MOM's. It takes real courage for a business to unilaterally disarm in the battle for children’s brand loyalty.
And let’s show other businesses how much support there is for companies that refuse to target children. We’ll share your thank you to MOM's with leading grocery chains around the country. If just a few chains follow the brave example of MOM's, we will change the equation for grocery manufacturers and make targeting children with cartoon-covered packaging unprofitable.
Please visit http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/moms to thank MOM's for putting families first.