Cartoon Network adopts food & beverage based healthy programing for kids

MUMBAI: In an attempt to promote lifetime health and wellness for children and families, Cartoon Network announced newly formalized food and beverage-related guidelines that will regulate use of its licensed characters. They also pledged to develop new programming integrating positive messages regarding nutrition and activity.

These newly-adopted guidelines, developed primarily from nutritional standards for children for food in schools, are issued by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and the U.S. Dietary Guidelines. Also in consultation are nutritional experts, Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RD, CDN (National Spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association) and Joanne Ikeda, MA, RD (pediatric obesity researcher, Nutritionist Emeritus at U.C. Berkeley).

They will govern the network‘s character product licensing and custom brand-integrated promotional tie-ins that Cartoon Network may conduct with advertisers on-air, online, and on-pack.

Under its new policies, Cartoon Network will limit the use of its original characters related to its company-owned original series targeted at children under the age of 12 to food and beverage products that meet specific nutritional criteria.

According to an official release, the nutritional criteria will include a cap on total calories per appropriate serving with limits on total fat, saturated fat, added trans fat, sodium and sugar and a requirement encouraging recommended nutrients such as vitamin A and C, iron, calcium, protein, and fiber.

The Guidelines will apply in the United States to all new product licensing and promotional tie-in deals and to renewals of any existing deals starting 1 January 2008. The only exception will be for the licensing of special occasion sweets.

"Our strategy is to approach these current health issues on all fronts by carefully guiding our licensed character branding, developing new entertainment programming and interstitials to help teach recommended dietary practices, and promoting multiple off-channel partnerships that will inspire kids to develop a more active lifestyle" said Turner animation young adults and media group COO and EVP Stuart Snyder.

Cartoon Network is also working with its nutritional experts to develop creative new programming that will integrate messages regarding nutrition and activity across platforms to positively influence, educate and encourage families to adopt balanced and healthy lifestyles.

This pledge builds on Cartoon Network‘s extensive variety of ‘Get Animated‘ outreach programs and multi-platform promotions aimed at reaching children with healthy lifestyle messages with targeted public-private partnerships, public service campaigns, online education, and off-channel activities and special events, which the network will continue to deliver.

Snyder continued, "We will continue to work with and support our food and beverage partners, who as an industry are committed to the highest standards for responsible marketing to children, and who are making great strides in reformulating products and committing to shift the mix of messages in advertising to encourage healthier dietary choices and healthy lifestyles."


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