Webinar Friday on the ethics of ads for kids

Nielsen Buzz Metrics will hold a (free?) webinar Friday, August 3, on the hot topic of advertising to children, a subject that has taken on more currency owing to a combination of threatened congressional action and industry self-regulation (which I alluded to in a recent blog item).  

Perhaps because their filters picked up my blog postings, I got an e-mail alert that I have not, I hope, misinterpreted. The note said:

“As with many ‘choice’ issues, a sizeable contingent of consumers places the responsibility for healthy living on individuals (in this case parents), and does not believe restrictions are an appropriate or effective remedy. Most, however, believe food companies have at least partial accountability for kids’ health.”

The e-mail invited any and all comers to register for a webinar  (no price mentioned) “to learn more more about this important topic join industry experts Max Kalehoff, VP of Marketing and David Wiesenfeld, Consultant, of Nielsen BuzzMetrics.”

Alas, when I clicked on webinar registration form it was titled “CGM 101” and seemed to be on the more general topic of how to benefit from consumer generated media. So maybe that the kid-ads controversy will be just a theme within the broader discussion of how to use CGM to advantage and/or insulate a company’s reputation against bad buzz.

In any event kid-ads greatly interest me as a subset of my current fascination with the ethics of advertising and its effects on culture. The e-mail alert I got included the following graph, the numerical scale of which absolutely baffles me but which I note and share nevertheless because what it conveys to me is a sense of the major firms that have — as the good old boys might say — a dog in this fight.