I’m doing a prerecorded online presentation to the V Congresso Nacional de Alimentos e Nutrição, Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, at 8:00 p.m. on my book Unsavory Truth (Um Verdade Indigesta). Information about the conference is here. It runs from October 4 to 8.
The FTC number: $1.6 billion to market to kids
The FTC has released its new report on food marketing to kids. The big news? The food industry only spends $1.6 billion for this purpose, a figure nobody I know believes. The FTC had to subpoena this information and I’m sure that companies gave the lowest number they could. Kellogg may spend $32 million just for media advertising for Cheez-Its, but I’m sure it’s hard for the company to figure out how much of that goes for packages with cartoons on them. The FTC press release compliments food companies for all the great things they are doing to protect kids from what they used to do. It makes recommendations that begin with words like “work toward,” “encourage,” “continue,” and “consider,” but nothing much that says “stop!” I think $1.6 billion is likely to be an underestimate but it doesn’t really matter. The number should be zero, no?