Monday, March 01, 2010

Kids' CBC blantantly shills for Kellogg's Eggo Waffles as part of a "healthy breakfast"

CBC Policy 1.3.8: Advertising Directed to Children Under 12 Years of Age,

"The CBC/Radio-Canada does not accept advertising of any kind in programming and websites designated by the CBC/Radio-Canada as directed to children under 12 years of age."
Seems pretty clear to me. No ifs, ands, or buts, the CBC does not accept advertising of any kind for kids under 12.

I guess Kids' CBC is aimed at kids over the age of 12?

I imagine most teenagers and adults can't tear themselves away from the antics of Sid, Mamma Yamma and the Doodlebops.

Why do I say that?

Well the CBC have partnered up with Kellogg's and just last week as part of their product placement agreement Sid, Mamma Yamma and a child guest all sat together to shill for and eat Eggo Waffles in a segment about "Healthy Breakfasts" complete with plenty of plate shots and close ups. There's also that website up above.

So is product placement technically advertising? Absolutely, only it's worse than plain old ads. Product placement takes trusted characters that children and parents have come to know and love and uses them to serve as corporate shills to give the products placed the gleaming sheen of trustworthy endorsement.

The CBC's Kim Wilson the Creative Head of Children and Youth Programming at the CBC explains in the January 2010 Production Notes,
"The spots are called, "Mighty Mamma" and feature Mamma Yamma as a superhero of breakfast proportions who helps kids (and our hosts) learn about breakfast foods and keeping active."
So with Eggo Waffles what has Mamma Yamma endorsed?

If your child eats the recommended serving of 2 Eggo waffles, Yamma Mamma is recommending your child consume: 190 calories of refined white flour containing 430mg of sodium and 32 other ingredients including multiple polysyllabic preservatives and artificial colours.

Funny, when my wife makes waffles at home she uses 6 ingredients, the names of all of which even our 5.5 year old can both read and pronounce, including whole grain whole wheat flour and virtually no salt.

Shame on you CBC.

Want to complain? I sent my complaints to the CBC Kids' department and copied them to the CBC's ombudsman. You can do the same by clicking here.

[Hat tip to a concerned parent whose 6 year old immediately following the segment asked her if they could buy some Eggos]