Responding to complaints that commercials on TV kids shows is contributing to a spreading epidemic of childhood obesity, the FCC has agreed to set up a task force to look into the issue and offer recommendations. "Small children can't weed out the marketing messages from their favorite shows," FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said Wednesday at a Washington DC news conference. "Especially when the marketing campaigns feature favorite TV characters like SpongeBob or Scooby-Doo." Also participating in the news conference was Kansas Republican Sen. Sam Brownback, who maintained that the aim was not to formulate additional regulations governing advertisements aimed at children. "I think if we want to start an adversarial relationship at the very outset, that would be the way to do it. We want these [food] companies to participate," Brownback told Broadcasting & Cable magazine. However, he indicated that none of the companies had yet shown a willingness to do so. He said that the were still trying to determine "whether this was a process they could join. We urge their participation and would love to have them." The Associated Press reported that the task force already includes Sesame Workshop, the Walt Disney Co., and the conservative Parents Television Council.




28/09/2006