Thursday, March 04, 2010

CBC Says Eggos aren't products while Kellogg's breaks committment not to product place!

Readers will likely remember just a few days ago when I commented on product placement by Kellogg's on CBC Kids' morning shows with Yamma Mamma talking about healthy breakfasts while the camera provided multiple plate and product shots of an Eggo Waffle.

Comments on the blog were mixed. Some thought I was out to lunch, some thought I was bang on, while one person demonstrated incredible ignorance by invoking Godwin's Law by suggesting that my depiction of product placement was at a level comparable to how I might complain about Nazi propaganda.

The CBC wrote me back and while they didn't suggest I was on a Nazi witch hunt, they certainly didn't agree that the Eggo shots were in fact product placement,

"At no time are brand-name products promoted. In the example cited, we focus on the importance of a complete, balanced breakfast even within the time, cost or other constraints faced by many people.

In other words, a waffle matched with fresh fruit, nuts, yogurt and/or milk and juice represents a nutritious, enticing choice for kids
But isn't that what product placement is? Not mentioning a product by name but placing it in the show - in this case a round, commercially produced, breakfast waffle product into a show that explicitly suggests it's a healthy choice?

A new and interesting twist to all of this came by way of Dr. Brain Cook.

Brian's a researcher for Toronto Public Health and his area of expertise is advertising to children. When he read my blog piece he wrote to inform me of Kellogg's commitment to the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative.

The initiative very clearly states,
"Kellogg will implement the Product Placement principle by not paying for or seeking out promotional product placement (i.e., embedding our products within program/editorial content, as distinguished from sponsorship of programming) for our products in any medium directed primarily to children under 12. Kellogg does not currently engage in this type of marketing directed to children under 12."
I've written to Johanne Trudeau, the Director of Nutrition Marketing for Kellogg's Canada for comment and will keep you posted.

The whole thing seems pretty clear to me.

1. Kellogg's paid for segments involving Yamma Mamma and healthy breakfasts on CBC Kids.
2. The segments included Eggo product placement (and perhaps other Kellogg's products, I'm only aware of the one example).
3. According to Kellogg's, product placement in kids shows is an advertising modality that they themselves report voluntarily avoiding.
4. The CBC disagrees with Kellogg's in that according to the CBC who report explicitly banning advertising on Kids shows, product placement isn't an advertising modality.

Can't wait to hear what Kellogg's has to say.

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  1. This may be good news:(Let me know if you can't open the link)

  2. Could you put that link onto multiple lines...I am seeing the partial internet address, which won't bring up the article...or if it's interesting could you give a recap on it's content?


  3. Sure.

    Julie's link (should work by clicking here) was commenting on the ongoing global Eggo shortage.

  4. Anonymous9:13 pm

    Congratulations Mr. Freedhoff, you have sunk to new levels of stupidity. You label my previous comment as “ignorant” by my use of Godwin’s Law, yet your misuse of the law is indicitive of who is ignorant in this exchange. Godwin’s Law states that an online discussion thread will be ended by one party comparing another's opinion or person to the Nazis / Hitler. If you actually took the time to read my comment rather than instantly dismiss it because I had a differing opinion, you would have seen that I stated the following: “The fact that they would depict a waffle as part of a potential nutritious breakfast does not strike me as the Nazi-esque type of propaganda you are making it out to be..”; I was commenting on the fact that this continued witch hunt of yours is ridiculous; You are making a shot of a frozen waffle (fyi, most frozen waffle brands are round) seem to be some evil type of propaganda; The allegory I used was the Nazi propaganda of the WWII era – a campaign that is almost universally recognized as having an evil intent. I find it hilarious that you seem to a/ dismiss any dissenting opinions off hand – are you that insecure in your blathering that you can not stand that someone disagrees with you? Will you ever even bother to address opposing arguments or continue to argue around themn; And b/ you continue to blow situations out of proportion. You apparently have a lot of free time on your hands (I guess in between writing a blog for CTV, one of CBC’s television competitors, or shilling products on your "gadgets" blog with numerous advertising links to Amazon). Why not turn your attentions to something constructive like ways for parents to make healthy choices or easy steps to incorporate healthier living, rather than hunting for any small semblance of impropriety. Better yet, offer to work with these companies to improve their overall health offerings. Regardless I have no doubt your response will be equally asinine. The good news is with this fourth mention, I will have used the term “Nazi” several times in this response…feel free to misuse Goodwin’s Law again.

  5. Clearly a grumpy troll lives under my blog.