Originally published: December 4, 2012
Last updated: December 4, 2012 - 9:50pm
A coalition of health groups is pressuring Viacom to implement stronger nutritional standards for the foods marketed on Nickelodeon.
The Food Marketing Workgroup -- led by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest and Berkeley Media Studies Group, and comprising the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, Environmental Working Group and others – sent a letter to Viacom Inc. president/CEO Philippe Dauman and Nickelodeon president Cyma Zarghami. The letter urges the executives to “implement strong nutrition standards for all of the company’s food marketing to children,” including all television advertising on Nickelodeon channels, company sites and mobile platforms. It also urges the company to apply stricter nutrition standards for products that want to use licensed characters like Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob SquarePants. The letter -- part of a larger campaign being launched by the Workgroup that includes social media, a letter-writing campaign to Nickelodeon’s CEO and other efforts -- is the latest volley in the ongoing controversy over food marketing to children.