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Disney introduces food guidelines for commercials

FOR THE MOUSEKETEER. Disney makes kids of us

FOR THE MOUSEKETEER. Disney makes kids of us all — in a good way. An updated edition of Christopher Finch’s Walt Disney: From Mickey Mouse to the Magic Kingdoms and Beyond (Abrams, $85) bottles that magic, following the career of the gifted illustrator who founded an entertainment empire. Sketches and illustrations from the classics — “Snow White,” “Dumbo,” etc. — are here, along with new chapters on recent films such as “Tangled,” and Disney’s acquisition of Pixar Studios. Credit: Newsday/Rebecca Cooney

This is actually interesting — really, it is: Disney today introduced a set of commercial guidelines that will require advertisers to meet certain nutritional standards before they can place ads on some of their cable networks.

It's a big deal if you happen to be Coke, or Pepsi — along with food products like Doritos — that rely so heavily (though certainly not exclusively) on TV advertising. Does this mean Coke — as an example —  will no longer be able to advertise on, say, ABC in 2015 when the guidelines take effect?  Not at all. Coke will be able to because the guidelines specifically skirt ABC and ESPN which begs an insanely obviousy question — what's the point of these when a vast number of kids turn into shows like "Modern Family" and "The  Middle" or "Once Upon a Time?"  And I'll bet more kids watch, say, one edition of  "Monday Night Football" than a thousand hours of Disney Channel .?.?.

  But it's a first step and an interesting one .?.?.

"Under Disney’s new standards, all food and beverage products advertised, sponsored or promoted on Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, Radio Disney and Disney-owned online destinations oriented to families with younger children will be required by 2015 to meet Disney’s nutrition guidelines. The nutrition guidelines are aligned to federal standards, promote fruit and vegetable consumption and call for limiting calories and reducing saturated fat, sodium and sugar. “We’re proud of the impact we’ve had over the last six years,” said Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO, The Walt Disney Company. “We’ve taken steps across our company to support better choices for families, and now we’re taking the next important step forward by setting new food advertising standards for kids. The emotional connection kids have to our characters and stories gives us a unique opportunity to continue to inspire and encourage them to lead healthier lives.”

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