Posts filed under ‘Childrens Advertising’

Food for Thought? Snack and soda ads challenged

Lawsuits about advertising unhealthy products to children continue to pull in the press as the Center for Science in the Public Interest announced its intent to file a lawsuit against Viacom and Kellogg Co. that will claim that the companies engaged in unfair and deceptive advertising by marketing “food of poor nutritional quality” to children under 8 years old. This lawsuit was announced as the Center also announced that it will delay a lawsuit against cola companies that would challenge the advertising and sale of soda in schools. Both Pepsi-Cola Co. and the Coca-Cola Co. are negotiating with the Center and the American Beverage Association has taken steps to limit the sale of soda in schools.

Both suits aimed to take advantage of favorable laws in Massachusetts that allow individuals to sue company’s for deceptive advertising as private attorneys general.



January 19, 2006 at 9:00 am Leave a comment

Cal. Supremes extinguish tobacco co.’s fed. defense

In a blow to cigarette giant R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co, the California Supreme Court upheld the validity of a state law restricting free distribution of cigarettes on state property. The case involved R.J. Reynolds handing out 100,000 packs of free cigarettes to a total of 14,834 adults during six events. California law prohibits giving away cigarettes on public property unless minors are barred from the grounds. The free cigarettes were given out in tents protected by security guards who admitted only adults who were carrying cigarettes. R.J. Reynolds argued that it did not violate the law because minors were barred from the tents. The court also rejected R.J. Reynolds claim that it was protected by a federal law that bars states from regulating cigarette advertising and promotions. Justice Joyce Kennard, speaking for the court, said that:

We here find no clear and manifest purpose of Congress to bar state regulation of the nonsale distribution of cigarettes to minor or adults.

But R.J. Reynolds can at least breath easier for a while. The court also noted that the $14.8 million fine on the tobacco company might be unconstitutionally excessive and sent the case back to Los Angeles County Superior Court to allow the company a second wind. The case was People ex rel. Lockyer v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and it can be found here as a pdf or here as a Word document.

December 23, 2005 at 7:00 am 2 comments

Government funded report says ads make kids fat

National Academies of Science’s Institute of Medicine has released a report concluding that television advertising is associated with increased rates of obesity. The Institute goes on to recommend Congressional action if advertisers don’t get into shape:

If voluntary efforts related to advertising during children’s programming are unsuccessful in shifting the emphasis away from high-calorie and low-nutrition foods and beverages to advertising of healthful foods and beverages, Congress should enact legislation mandating the shift on both broadcast and cable television.

In an AdAge article, Dan Jaffe, executive VP of the Association of National Advertisers, warns against government intervention.

It’s an enormously radical proposal that if the advertising is not adequately balanced, the government will step in to force the desired balance. How would that be determined? Based on what? Who would be deciding what is and isn’t balance, what foods are good and which aren’t and based on what?

Of course, parents could also turn off their televisions and go play soccer with your kids. That’d be a good law too.

December 6, 2005 at 8:00 pm Leave a comment

Advertising law seminar in NYC on 5/12

The Global Advertising Lawyer’s Alliance will be holding a seminar in New York city on May 12th that will discuss children’s advertising, publicity rights, and decency in advertising.  More on the program can be found here.

May 1, 2005 at 12:35 pm Leave a comment


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