Friday, April 30, 2010

Product Placement Opportunity

I'm considering if we should feature product placement at our office. What do you think? I'm thinking local, handmade, good for us in someway-for our body, mind or spirit. I have to work at balancing out the unintentional Disney and other advertising that we have happening at work. Even as a professional office, we have a role to play in exposing our kids to the world of media and consumerism. Let me know if you have some good ideas on this.

On a recent inspection looking for trademarked items at the office I found: stickers (Winnie the Pooh, Sesame Street, Bob the Builder) that we give out to kids, a Winnie the Pooh toy, a Toyota coloring book (I didn't even know that such a thing existed), Etch-a-Sketch, Crayola crayons, and I'm hoping that is it. If I recall, several of our books have Sesame Street characters, and probably some Disney princesses. It's not too bad, although we also have some plastic and soft toy culprits too. Oops. I'd like to say that the toys are all gone already, but they are still there. It is on my to-do list to slowly replace them with safer and no label toys (although that Winnie the Pooh toy is a classic and will probably stay). I may need a reminder on that commitment.

I have renewed guilt since I received my newsletter from Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood []. Included in their newsletter were these little tidbits:
  • For nearly 50 years no one has been better at hooking kids on unhealthy food than a ubiquitous red-haired clown. Isn't it time to Retire Ronald?
  • This week's corporate social responsibility hero? CCFC's Josh Golin.
  • Iron Man 2 Sparks $100 Marketing Bonaza. Partners include Dr. Pepper, Hershey's and Burger King, which will be offering Iron Man kids meals - despite the fact that the film is rated PG-13 for "intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence."

Did you read the last one? For a movie that is rated for kids over 13, they are marketing to children much below that age.

Also from their newsletter, and of news to me is that Santa Clara County Passes Landmark Happy Meal Toy Ban-so exciting but should we ever expect to see that here?! This prohibits restaurants from using toys as an incentive to purchase kids meals that are high in fat, sugar and calories. A little less pressure on parents wanting to feed their children healthy meals.

For more information on this group, visit

In my goal to have a child friendly office, I am realizing that some of the items that I take for granted, may be negatively affecting impressionable little minds. Do you have items in your life that may be doing the same?

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