Monday, February 07, 2011

Badvertising: Great job on your homework, here's a pie?

Saw this gem in a parenting magazine.

Bribe your kids to do their homework with pies.

This particular pie?

At 370 calories it's got as many as nearly a litre of Coca Cola. It's also got just shy of 6 teaspoons of sugar and get this, 650mg of sodium - almost double the sodium of two orders of large fries at McDonald's.

Perhaps if the mom in the photo had done her own homework growing up she'd know just how terrifically awful the product she's just served her daughter is and moreover perhaps she'd have learned better parenting skills than bribery to raise her children.

(Oh, and by the way, it's Badvertising week!)

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  1. Ah! But it's all ok and healthy because they're drinking milk with it.

  2. David B.10:48 am

    It seems that almost all of the rewards my son is getting from his high school for doing well are food-related -- and not exactly good foods either. For making the high honor roll, kids get coupons for free pizza or chicken wings at chain restaurants, get to move to the head of the line on fried chicken day at the school cafeteria, and so forth. At least one of the rewards is that they get to have a parent take them out to lunch one day, which is still food-related but at least the parent has control over where they go (I took him to Subway last quarter, but I'm sure given the fact that the kids only get 45 minutes out of school, most parents probably do some significantly less-healthy fast food).

  3. ARGHHH! Can we really be this ignorant or are does ad agency that created this mess know that the majority of their "target" is stressed parents who will do anything to get their kids to comply.

    They are teaching kids to do the right thing based on external motivation not internal inspiration. How will that manifest itself in adulthood? Oh yes...just look around you at the state of the economy - greed.

  4. wow, I would do my homework if I DIDN'T have to eat that sugar bomb.

  5. That's one hell of a portion size! Same for Adult and Child as well I see.

    I shall be on the ad lookout!

  6. essbee6:16 pm

    I'm wondering if the serving size on the nutrition panel indicates less than the full pie as a serving. I bet it does, but the advertising clearly indicates otherwise. (Both for adult and for child, as FrontierPsychologist notes!) What a great example of "portion size does not equal serving size"!

  7. essbee6:17 pm

    Whoops, make that FrontierPsychiatrist. (Apologies!) Freudian slip? I live with one of the other kind...

  8. I just about spit out my freshly blended green smoothie as I was reading this post. Sad, true, and hilarious all at the same time!

    It's amazing to me how many people reward themselves with food as adults - did something good, give yourself a treat; had a hard day, make it better with food; feeling sad, eat to feel better. It all starts from moments in childhood just like that one where food becomes the motivator.

    Why not reward kids with something amazing? Like playing catch with mom or dad after dinner or making your own healthy treats with a parent instead of pulling something unhealthy out of the box. It's the quality time with our family we remember, not the food.

  9. Don't blame this pitch on Mom. Most ad execs are men.

  10. Why not reward kids with something amazing? Like playing catch with mom or dad after dinner or making your own healthy treats with a parent instead of pulling something unhealthy out of the box.


    Talk about unhealthy. Time with your parents on a rationed for good behaviour basis?

    If these two were my options, I'd go for the pie.

    Children have a right to time with their parents. It's not some privilege to be doled out for behaving like a robot.

    Mom, make the pie yourself. Better yet, teach the kid how to do it. There are math, cultural and linguistics lessons associated with pie making.

  11. FWIW, I learned the word "bribe" at the age of eight, after having spent an afternoon at our grandparents trying to find any way to get my six-year-old sister to do her math homework herself. (I'm pretty sure the term we used at school came somewhat closer to "positive reinforcement" as illustrated by "the carrot and the stick".) The cost? A pack of Pez candies, doled out one at a time as she finally figured out each equation. I learned the word when my father chided me, saying that bribing her was his job, not mine.

    I'm wondering if it's not far worse to bribe children with pie for dessert if they eat all of the dinner food that's on their plate. (Does that lead to habitual overeating and divorcement of eating from hunger?)