House Republicans Are In Favor Of Ads That Make Your Child Harass You Into Buying Junk Food

Tossing that box of Lucky Charms back on the shelf at the grocery store after your kid tried to sneak it into the cart is going to be a lot harder, if House Republicans have their way. They’re on the side of food companies that don’t want the White House telling them to stop marketing sugary cereal and junk foods to kids.

President Obama’s administration has proposed voluntary guidelines to keep kids from being bombarded with cartoon characters hawking junk food and other marketing attempts to get them to get you to buy them sugary and fatty foods. In order to use kid-friendly marketing, the guidelines would suggest the foods be healthier.

But even though those guidelines would be voluntary, food companies are all up in arms against them, saying the government is going too far, says the Associated Press.

Republicans are helping them out by trying to delay those guidelines with a provision in next year’s Federal Trade Commission budget “that would require the government to study the potential costs and impacts of the guidelines before implementing them.”

See, the food companies think everyone will be super mad at them if they don’t kowtow to the guidelines, and the GOP agrees. Missouri Rep. Jo Ann Emerson, the Republican who sponsored the provision, says she is concerned that the voluntary rules “would lead to extraordinary pressure from the federal government.”

The administration isn’t trying to totally kill off Tony the Tiger, say proponents of the guidelines, just try to urge companies to incorporate more whole grains and cut some sugar.

GOP pushes back on effort to limit kids’ ads [USA Today].


Edit Your Comment

  1. aloria says:

    Buy a TiVo or other device that lets you skip over ads, watch TV with your kids and monitor the content they’re consuming, avoid bringing kids to the grocery store. No law needed.

    • aloria says:

      …oh, or convince your kid that there is an evil monster lurking inside every box of Lucky Charms.

      • Preyfar says:

        That’s how your brother died, Sally. Lucky Charms. They were magically delic–OH? You didn’t know you had a brother? It… well, it was hard on the whole family. He died right before you were born. Sucked into his bowl of Lucky Charms, never to be seen from again. We kept the bowl on the table for weeks hoping he’d come back, but… he never did.

        We had to pour him out.

        We messed up. We failed him… and… and, well… he’s gone now. We decided that YOU would be different. That you would be better! That we’d never let Lucky Charms take you away, because we love you. A LOT. We love you so much we don’t want to see you take away.

        And while we’re letting you know about your brother, we may as well tell you about your sister. That’s right. It’s… hard on all of us, really. You had a sister, too. Janice. But she made a very, very bad choice when she stole daddy’s Jello Temptations. You know that noise under your bed late at night? That creaking sound in the house when you’re trying to fall asleep? That’s your sister, trying to escape. If you get real quiet and hold your breath sometimes you can hear her screaming for help.



        And that’s how you get your kids not to eat Lucky Charms.

        • airren says:

          Love this! First laugh of the day, thank you thank you!

          I don’t have kids, but it would almost be worth having them to tell them horrors like these!

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      Stop it stop it stop it! That wreaks of personal responsibility!

    • dangerp says:

      How exactly do you avoid bringing your children to the grocery store? Hire a babysitter every time you have to get groceries?

      That last one is a little insane. I am, however, in support of the evil monster suggestion below.

    • vliam says:

      Right. It’s the consumer’s fault.

      Don’t like lead in your water supply? Buy bottled water.

      • Groanan says:

        That is a horribly false comparison; poor people have no choice between drinking municipal water or dehydration – everyone has a choice over whether or not to buy cereal (you do not need to eat cereal at all to live) and what type of cereal to buy (some of it is a lot healthier than others, and the cheap stuff can still be low on sugars and high in fiber).

        It is the consumer’s fault if advertisements make their unruly crotch-fruit uncontrollable by them; having children is in most cases a lifestyle choice or the consequence of a lifestyle choice, anyone with any shred of responsibility would not either choose to have children, or choose to expose themselves to the risk of accidentally having children, without also having the wherewithal to raise them in such a manner that they eat what you provide for them, regardless of what a cartoon rabbit suggests they should eat instead.

        • vliam says:

          The suggestion was to purchase a Tivo to solve the problem. How many poor people can afford that solution?

          • Groanan says:

            TiVo technology is not as expensive as you make it out to be, and his suggestion is but one of MANY ways you can avoid this problem yourself as a parent.

            If you can own a refrigerator, a TV, a subscription for telephone / television / or internet use, you can easily afford a DVR with commercial skipping abilities. It is like arguing that poor people can’t afford VCRs. Another way to avoid this problem yourself as a parent, for the cheap, is to not allow your children to watch television altogether by not owning a TV.

            Comparing that to allowing companies to put lead in the city water supply is still ridiculous.

            • vliam says:

              If you can own a refrigerator, a TV, a subscription for telephone / television / or internet use, then you easily afford bottled water.

              As long as we’re removing TV restrictions, I’d love to be able to enjoy some programming worth watching. I can’t watch Weeds, Dexter, Breaking Bad or any of the shows that I enjoy without cable because of other people’s children. This isn’t even legitimate programming that are being defended. It’s stupid commercials.

              • Groanan says:

                Well if the water was filled with lead, you wouldn’t want to use it to brush your teeth or cook with; so your daily consumption of water would likely be around 2-liters per a person, for a family of two you can get beyond the 20/month subscription fee for name brand TiVo.

                The more important distinction is that there is a grave difference between companies using commercials to make our children want unhealthy sugary cereal, and allowing companies to poison the drinking water with lead. The first being something we can completely avoid the harms of easily, and where the harms are relatively minor if any (it really depends on how much extra calories are consumed, there might possibly be no harm at all).

                I’m all for removing the censorship television and radio, they are only two small mediums of communication that children are exposed to, and we cannot censor the internet without killing free speech, so we may as well stop pretending that we can shelter children from knowing that violence exists in the world, that people have sex, and that adults have more vocabulary words.

                • vliam says:

                  The more important distinction is that there is a grave difference between companies using commercials to make our children want unhealthy sugary cereal, and allowing companies to poison the drinking water with lead.


                  So, why were cigarette advertisements banned from television?

            • Rayon Fog says:

              Now you’re just reaching.

            • Straspey says:


              Perhaps another solution would to simply turn off the TV (computer, X-Box, PS3, etc) altogether and encourage the kids to go outside for some real physical activity.

          • rushevents says:

            @vlim “The suggestion was to purchase a Tivo to solve the problem. How many poor people can afford that solution?”

            Yeah because poor people are obviously too stupid to simply say “no” to their kids. For that matter – if they wanted a tivo they are also too stupid to save up money over time to get one or buy one on ebay, craigslist or even a pawn shop.

            Can you even begin to see the mote in your own eye?

    • tbax929 says:

      I don’t even think you need to go that far. Parents need to take responsibility for raising their own kids. I grew up in the late 70s and 80s, and I don’t remember kids being fat. I don’t remember demanding my parents buy sugary cereal for me (they’d have knocked me into next week for acting up in the grocery store).

      I don’t remember being raised by the television. I remember going out to play on a regular basis. Hell, I remember my mom throwing us out of the house and “making” us go play if we were sitting around the house too much. I also remember that going to McDonald’s was considered a treat. I doubt we got McD’s more than 4 or 5 times a year.

      What the hell happened to personal responsibility? You can’t legislate it, I’ll tell you that.

      • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

        Are you my brother? You had the exact same childhood experience I did on those points you listed.

        • Such an Interesting Monster says:

          My experience was exactly the same. After the first “no” the next response from my mother to repeated requests for crap food would have been the back of her hand.

          Of course this was back when you could discipline your child (lovingly of course) without having CPS sicked on you.

          • Dieflatermous says:

            Those good ol days when people could beat their children.

            • Such an Interesting Monster says:

              If the alternative is the kids of today, then yeah, I’m all for a some beating.

              • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

                It was good for mothers to get practice with the back of the hand slaps. While it worked for discipline, it was also a good alternative to wearing a seatbelt.

      • colorisnteverything says:

        Yeah, we got MCD’s as a treat – well, any takeout, really. If we had one thing of takeout every couple of weeks, my mother felt like she was failing us. And sugar cereal was reserved for camping trips and our birthdays. Otherwise, we ate quaker oat squares and had eggs, toast, or oatmeal.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        I was a child of the 70’s and have the exact opposite memories.

        We had terrible diets all around and when it came to cereal, just about everything on the market had the word “Sugar…” in the name. Most of us lived off of bologna & cheese, cream cheese & jelly, and PB&J sandwiches for lunch and dinner virtually always involved red meat, potato, and canned vegetables. Pork chops or ham was seen as a healthy alternative to pot roast or meat loaf. Being healthy meant drinking 5 Alive or Hawaiian Punch out of a giant can. For breakfast, if it wasn’t sugary cereal, it was eating a dozen donuts or fried eggs, bacon, and toast or pancakes.

        I don’t remember any fat kids or really that many fat people at all. Looking at old photos, I think most people looked somewhat emaciated compared to today.

        I think the real difference was smaller portions, less soda, eating at home (even if it was unhealthy) and lots of exercise/activity. Just the fact that everyone walked to school and home for lunch was a lot of exercise right there.

        • DarthCoven says:

          “and lots of exercise/activity”

          This. Even in my youth (born in 83) we actually played outside and didn’t vegetate in front of the computer all day. Sure we had our Nintendo and Sega, but we didn’t spend nearly as much time mashing buttons back then as kids do nowadays.

    • Cat says:

      My kids live on a diet of PBS TV. That solves the problem without buying any devices.

      • SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

        Actually PBS does have some significant ads. They just seem to disassociate sugar with cartoons a little bit. Earth’s best Organics have sponsored sesame street for a while.

    • Gertie says:

      Or? Say no.

    • VashTS says:

      Torrent solves my ads dilemma..

  2. ldillon says:

    This is hard to get your head around, but the more you think about it, you realize the truth of it:

    Advertising is a subtle form of brainwashing.

    If advertising didn’t work to change behavior, companies would spend billions of dollars on it.

    • Jim M says:

      “Advertising is a subtle form of brainwashing.

      If advertising didn’t work to change behavior, companies would spend billions of dollars on it.”

      I’m shocked.

      Goes off to play with my LEGO’s and Ipad…………..

    • Costner says:

      In the last 12 months I am quite sure I have seen no less than 2,000 commericials for Miller Lite and/or Coors Light… and yet I don’t drink either.

      I have seen hundreds of commercials for Tide, yet I typically buy Purex (or whatever else is cheap and/or on sale).

      I have seen thousands of commercials for Progressive, Geico, Allstate, Farmers, State Farm, 21st Century, esurance, and many other auto insurance companies… yet I have zero desire to shop for auto insurance and just keep the same company I have been using for the past decade.

      So is it really brainwashing, or is it just trying to educate consumers as to what options exist and try to *gasp* sell *gasp* the idea or notion that you “need” their product?

      If people are so stupid as to believe every advertisement and so weak that they can’t even tell their own children “no” to a request for a sugar cereal or toy or whatever…. are the advertisers to blame?

      I guess I have to agree with the GOP on this one…. we don’t need government to protect us from ourselves. I know there is a slippery slope argument to be made here since we already control advertising for products such as cigarettes, but for breakfast cereal? I just think that goes too far.

      • Bob from Texas says:

        I used to have this belief as well. But OP makes some sense. Let’s say your purex is out, and can’t find it anywhere. Now there’s store brand and Tide. Would you not be inclined to purchase the Tide? Furthermore, let’s say the prices are the same or very nearly the same.

        • Costner says:

          I know the cleaning performance of Tide because I’ve seen comparison tests, and chances are I would not know the cleaning performance of the store brand, so if price was the same I would go for the Tide.

          However, that has less to do with their marketing and more to do with the fact they have been an established brand for long enough to always be put to the test when people review detergents. Thus if you replaced Tide with Gain, Cheer, Era, Ajax, or any of 30 different brands I would likely buy them over an unknown store brand because the store brand is a gamble.

          Now if that store brand was less expensive I may be tempted to try it and determine if it is a good value, but I honestly don’t think Tide’s huge marketing budget has a whle lot to do with it.

          I do understand that some people are influenced by advertising… I get it. But I don’t think that is justification to prevent a company from being able to advertise because it seems to be somewhat of a free speech issue.

          Why is it ok for a corporation to spend unlimited money influencing public policy and funding political candidates, but it might not be ok for a company to buy a commercial to market a legal product? Seems a bit counterintuitive.

      • Tyanna says:

        If you were at the bar or a friend’s place and your normal beer of choice wasn’t available, but Miller Lite was, would you drink it?

        If your insurance company pissed you off and you wanted to change, which big name comes to mind that you’d call up? Remember their website or mascot off the top of your head?

        The fact that you know the names of these brands and can recall them at will in certain situations shows how much you’ve been persuaded by them. Don’t think that just b/c you don’t buy the product that the advertisement isn’t working. It is. And that’s why it’s so subtle.

        • darcmosch says:

          Well, that’s true, but I never make a choice based on just their name. A myriad of different variables ultimately decide what I product/service I buy. Yes, I might go for the famous one, but I can easily be swayed into another because I don’t just buy the first name that comes to mind. I look around at my options and pick the best one that suits me.

        • Costner says:

          If you were at the bar or a friend’s place and your normal beer of choice wasn’t available, but Miller Lite was, would you drink it?

          If it was the only beer available maybe, but I have tasted it and don’t care for it much, so provided there was another option I probably would refrain.

          If your insurance company pissed you off and you wanted to change, which big name comes to mind that you’d call up? Remember their website or mascot off the top of your head?

          I recall the commercials because I have a strage memory that seems to recall worthless information, but just because I think the “mayhem” commercials are well done does not mean I’m going to run out and buy Allstate insurance. I also think Flo has worked well for Progressive, but if I was going to switch companies I would just visit an independent insurance agent and let them quote me a bunch of different rates. The company name doesn’t really matter to me since they are all practically the same… although I would probably contact USAA and see what their rates were (but not because of their advertising… just because of reputation from other people who have them).

          The fact that you know the names of these brands and can recall them at will in certain situations shows how much you’ve been persuaded by them. Don’t think that just b/c you don’t buy the product that the advertisement isn’t working. It is. And that’s why it’s so subtle.

          I understand the concept of brand awareness, but that is sort of my point. They are introducing us to their product, but they are not forcing us to buy them or brainwashing us into purchasing whatever it is they are selling. We still have free will and can buy what we choose. Also, as adults we have the ability to say no to young impressionable children, so outlawing commercials that might influence kids is just silly.

          If advertising was really the equivalent of brainwashing, then those companies who spend the most of advertising should be the most popular, so Dyson should be the vacuum cleaner of choice for all Americans, Bud Light should be in the fridge of every male, and I should be eating at McDonalds six days a week.

          I just think it is a bid more complicated than suggesting it boils down to brainwashing.

          • exconsumer says:

            “I recall the commercials because I have a strage memory that seems to recall worthless information”

            I don’t think so. I think you’ve got an excellent and perfectly suitable memory that works exactly as designed: to store coherent information. You’ve seen it often, and the plots, themes, concepts are clear as day (Mayhem strikes and you won’t be able to recognize him, so you should have insurance) Why wouldn’t you remember that? How many times did you see that concept or idea compared to how many times you saw the show it was included in? I bet it’s a 3:1 ratio at least. You’ve seen Mr. Mayhem more often than you’ve seen some of your closest friends. It would be a miracle if you did not remember him.

            Take something else, what about eating breakfast? Do you eat breakfast? You probably do. Could you choose not to eat breakfast? You probably have once or twice out of necessity. So why do we think of breakfast as a thing that people do, as a choice to make at all? Because our parents and friends and community taught us.

            What about drinking miller lite. You can choose to drink or not to drink it. So why do you think of it as a thing that people do, as a choice to make at all? Probably NOT because your parents or friends or community taught you. They probably taught you to drink another beer, or include other beers in your choices. You thought about Miller Lite because someone paid a lot of money to reach you and show it to you as a choice. So the issue is, do we tolerate that as a community?

      • maxamus2 says:

        Adults aren’t as impressionable as children, that’s why you hook them when they’re young.

    • guroth says:

      So then if I tell you “I played Angry Birds on my phone and it is so much fun, you should get it, it is only a dollar, but at least 100 dollars worth of fun!” then I am trying to brainwash you?

      Or is there some kind of major difference between marketing directed advertisement and word of mouth advertisement?

      • Conformist138 says:

        Yeah, an obvious one- motive. If a commercial comes on for Fruit Loops, I know the company wants me to buy it and give them money, so they will say whatever the law will allow to make me do so. They will say they’re amazingly tasty loops of delicious and not sugar-crusted cardboard.

        My friends, however, are not paid by manufacturers to sell their products and they do not study human behavior to increase the chances that I will make certain purchases.

    • magnetic says:

      I think that’s true to a certain extent, but it’s been sort of oversold (get it? ironic!). If I a sitting around watching TV and an ad comes on for some delicious fried food, I would not have otherwise thought to want it, but now I do, and do I ever want it.

    • Psychicsword says:

      Advertising is designed to make you think positively about a product but it will not force you to want a product you don’t need. It is designed to simply designed to let you know the brand exists so you will think it when you need something similar to it and it is designed to make you think it works well.

      • WolfSoftware says:

        Actually you’d be surprised! Subliminal advertising tricks your brain into desiring a specific brand, mentally “forcing” you to purchase that brand. I mean sure, they’re not holding a gun to your head, they’re just *rewiring your brain to want that item*

  3. tkmluv says:

    “The administration isn’t trying to totally kill off Tony the Tiger, say proponents of the guidelines, just try to urge companies to incorporate more whole grains and cut some”

    Cut some what??? Don’t leave me hanging. I am going to guess it is cheese. Kids love to cut the cheese.

  4. ancientone567 says:

    There is noting to see here. Just do business as usual and buy lots of sugar products because remember we are the party that doe snot give a shit about you. What we DO care about is how much of you money we can get AT ANY COST! Even if that cost is your families health.

    • aloria says:

      I was unaware that children were packing heat and forcing their parents to buy them junk food at gunpoint.

      • Kuri says:

        A shrieking voice can be just as bad.

        • crispyduck13 says:

          I don’t have kids yet, but I’ll be damned if they pull that kind of shit with me.

          • Mike says:

            LOL, as someone who is an educator and has seen many before and after parents (before kids and after kids), you say this before, but after you have kids it is a whole different story.

            • sponica says:

              somehow when I was a kid and my mom said no….or the more rational “only if it’s on sale and there’s a coupon”, I did not turn into a hysterically screaming monster and if I did, I was more afraid of what anger and disappointment awaited me at home than not having a creepy leprechaun or bunny cereal in the shopping cart

              tony the tiger was always welcome though (and to this day, frosted flakes fill me up better than any other cereal even mini wheats)

            • crispyduck13 says:

              Yes I’ve heard that retort many times said in the same condescending, self-satisfied tone, and all the people who say it are usually those I tend to avoid in personal relationships.

            • OutPastPluto says:

              My kid knows that if he ever tried to nag me based on what commercials he’s managed to see at grandma’s house (no Tivo), that he might very well lose all TV priveleges PERMANENTLY.

              It’s pretty easy to avoid this whole “kids nagging about sugar cereal”.

              You simply act like a parent.

          • Costner says:

            I said the same thing…. and now that I have a kid…. I still agree with you.

            As parents, it is our duty to establish rules. I know each child is different and I’m thankful I don’t have one who suffers from a developmental disorder like ADD or Autism, but for the most part when I see a brat kid it is due to the idiot parent who doesn’t seem to want to be bothered to actually be a parent.

            My daughter doesn’t beg for things in the grocery store (or even the toy section of Target). It took about 10 minutes for her to learn that lesson… but of course that is based upon the fact that I set rules and stick to them elsewhere, so she understand when I say no it actually does mean no instead of “well sorta kinda no but if you scream long enough and loud enough I’ll probably give in and just say ok”.

        • aloria says:

          I feel really bad for your kid if you think his/her crying is comparable to having a gun pointed at you.

        • Bsamm09 says:

          If that is all it takes to get you to cave you have worse problems in your life besides fat kids.

  5. crispyduck13 says:

    As much as I wish companies would be classier about how they market junk food to kids, I don’t think anyone should be able to tell them how to advertise. That’s the free country we live in, you have to take everyone else’s bad to be able to say what you want.

    And what is the point of ‘guidelines’ anyway? How much money are they going to spend ‘suggesting’ to these companies that what they are doing is fucked up and unethical? The companies don’t have to listen, it just doesn’t make sense to me.

    If you don’t want your kid eating junk food then you don’t buy it, it’s really simple.

    • energynotsaved says:

      It is the job of the parent to be a parent. Set the rules. Follow them. It is the job, duty, obligation, responsibility, and purpose of the parent to establish and follow the guidelines that are in the best interest of the family.

      I remember hearing “part of a complete, balanced breakfast” for years. I have no idea what that was suppose to represent.

      My special needs adult child lives with me part time. She loves all that sugar. She gets it at her dad’s house. At my house, we have fruits, oatmeal, balanced diets, and basically good stuff. If we are going to eat sweets, we make it a BIG deal and go out for a real treat. Make sugar a treat, not part of the daily intake of calories.

    • discipleprodigy says:


  6. HoJu says:

    Be a parent. Dont expect the government to do it for you.

    • "I Like Potatoes" says:


    • dolemite says:

      Yup. Just a bunch of busybody rich politicians attempting to put their values and lifestyles on the rest of us. Guess what? We are POOR. We buy what we can afford. That doesn’t mean healthy fruits and vegetables and $5 fancy bread, that means what sugary coated glop our corporate overlords put on sale this week.

      • Groanan says:

        You say that like the only cheap cereal sold in those large bags are the sugary kind; in reality you can eat plain tasteless mush on the cheap and you can avoid cereal altogether.

      • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

        Oatmeal is dirt cheap, and healthy.

        • Hobz says:

          I disagree on the healthy part. Oatmeal tastes like paste, so you have to sweeten it up a little. It’s a rouse by the sugar companies to sell you more sugar.

          • Mit Long says:

            Stuff with less sugar typically doesn’t taste as sweet as things that have more sugar. I fail to see the ruse and am tempted to quote the Princess Bride, which would be conceivable.

        • amgriffin says:

          Even without sweetning, oatmeal wreaks havoc on my blood sugar. I’m NOT diabetic. An hour after eating it I crash. Supposedly, oatmeal is low glycemic, but perhaps I have superdigestion that quickly converts the carbs to sugar. It never fails to make me feel awful after I eat it.

          • Debbie says:

            Just a thought: Are you buying instant oatmeal, or the long-cooking kind? Instant has much less fiber and metabolizes faster.

    • Debbie says:

      Exactly. Some of us are tired of the government telling us what to feed our kids.

    • sjackson12 says:

      Yeah that’s great except for a lot of parents suck at being parents in the area of nutrition

  7. rmorin says:

    Mary Beth, I think this title is pretty slanted. Consumer Reports (the parent company of this blog) has long been a very unbiased source of information, and saying “House Republicans Are In Favor Of Ads That Make Your Child Harass You Into Buying Junk Food” is adding your own political commentary which otherwise is a relevant consumer issue.

    • Coffee says:

      I totally agree, and I’m liberal.

    • DariusC says:

      I completely agree, the political spin bugged me. I like democrats/liberals (it’s becoming synonymous) than I do the republicans/conservatives (also becoming synonymous) if only because liberals are a lot less supporting of violence/torture/bigotry. Still, I hate their position on gun control and the crazy amount of government regulation in our lives, among other things like being pro-choice over pro-self-accountability.

      • crispyduck13 says:

        I fail to understand why abortion has already come up twice in the 22 comments on a post about Frosted Flakes commercials.

        America: land of the free, home of the uterus debate that we can’t seem to STFU about.

        • DariusC says:

          I know, but it was about your comment concerning political slanting. And I believe very strongly in self-accountability. If you fail to use a rubber, why does the kid pay for it? I can understand rape, incest or when the mother may die, but if people don’t use birth control they shouldn’t be able to get out of their responsibility.

          • crispyduck13 says:

            I didn’t make any comment about political slant, you were replying to someone else.

            For the record that thing in a woman’s uterus is not a “kid” until it is breathing air. A kid doesn’t “pay for it” until they’re old enough to understand what their parents mean by the term ‘baggage’ and ‘food stamps.’

        • Coffee says:

          Ah, crispyduck…I pine for the day you let me shoehorn you into my G+ circles.

        • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

          Or guns, for that matter.

    • Stickdude says:

      “pretty” slanted?

      Oh, you are a much nicer person than me.

    • OutPastPluto says:

      Republicans like to whine about “excessive regulation” and even wrap the current economic mess around it. They try to pretend that all will be well and everyone will be employed again if we just let corporations do whatever they like.

      So the “spin” here is entirely justified.

      This is a central Republican talking point.

      This is where all of this “create jobs by gutting regulations” rhetoric gets you.

      • rmorin says:

        Which is your political opinion. The Consumerist is not about political opinion. It is a consumer blog, and as such the authors should present consumer issues void of political commentary.

        Geeze, if the title was “Obama doesn’t want lazy people to get to work, tries to extend unemployment benefits” I assume (based on your stated distaste for republicans) you’d think it is a pretty slanted title, and you’d be correct. I can’t stand people who think that being sensational or out and out lying is okay if you agree with the end result, but deplorable if you disagree with the end result.

        You saying “spin” is okay when you agree with it shows your complete and utter ignorance.

    • rob3912811 thinks this site is full of retards and assclowns with cats for friends. says:

      f thr’s n thng ths st ds xtrrdnrl wll, t’s mkng ppl rthnk thr sbscrptn t Cnsmr Rprts. Frnkl, Cnsmrst s (nd bn hs snc th byt) pttng prtt bg blck mrk n th fc f ts prnt cmpn.

    • RenegadePlatypus says:

      “Apple Fans Want 13 Year Old Chinese Children to Work 16 Hours a Day 7 Days a Week in Sweatshops Building Their iPads Just So They Can Play Angry Birds While Dodging Their Student Loans and Whining About Their Part Time Jobs” was a title of an article she wrote about the rise of Apple’s stock price. Only very untalented writers need to do this.

    • psm321 says:

      I came here to say this… that headline is way out there for Consumerist. And I say this as a (extreme) liberal…

    • Gertie says:

      Yes, Mary Beth. Your bias is showing.

  8. DariusC says:

    This is the snarky liberal journalism I don’t care to see on consumerist. Yes, most cereals are bad for you. Yes, your children will harass you to buy stuff. Yes, they are making them sugary so kids crave it and bug their parents for it. Why blame the companies that make it? People and parents need to have the discpline to say “no”. Companies need to start giving more healthy options to consumers. It takes two to tango (Still working on that one). On the other coin, it sucks that these sugary cereals snuck onto the market and awareness came too late that it was already integrated into our lives. To be honest though, I think the republicans are just siding with the free market manifesto they shout all the time. I just wish they would do it with the drugs, gambling and prostitution markets too!

    • aloria says:

      Exactly. It isn’t like there’s an epidemic of grade schoolers sneaking boxes of Froot Loops into their houses unbeknownts to their parents. At the end of the day, an adult is buying them and serving them to their child. I doubt a wacky cartoon bird is much responsible for a grown adult making bad nutritional choices for their offspring.

      • RayanneGraff says:

        The cartoon bird is part of the problem though. What do you think a kid is gonna be more attracted to- a brightly colored box with cartoon characters, or a plain white box with the product name on it? These companies knowingly design their product to appeal to children. McDonald’s does it too. There isn’t a single healthy cereal that I know of(and no, putting “extra fiber” on a box of Froot Loops does not make it healthy) with cartoon characters on the box, it’s all sugary crap.

      • Conformist138 says:

        Amazingly, studies have shown that kids will rate a food as tasting better if they can see a cartoon character (ANY cartoon character, not just a familiar one) on the packaging. Thus, the kids will eat one certeal and not another even if they’re identical. Add in the fact that the healthy cereal has no colorful cartoon and the sugary stuff does, and you create the perfect storm for a screaming tantrum. Now, it isn’t good for parents to just give in to the whining, but clearly you haven’t spent time around kids if you think it will never happen to good parents. Companies make parent’s lives harder by making kids whine specifically for things parents are told they shouldn’t give them. Eventually, add in the normal pressures and problems of life and the idea of making mornings easier by just giving the kids Cocoa Puffs instead of fighting about oatmeal or corn flakes will be quite tempting.

        Advertising works on us all- the commercials and packages beckon to the kids, the kids pester the parents, and the parents just can’t deal with it all. It’s fine for parents to take responsibility, but it’s awfully problematic that companies can legally undermine them with commercials specifically intended to give an opposite message.

        My problem with all marketing to kids is they’re just not savvy enough yet and not mature enough to understand why nothing their parents want them to eat is sold by Tony the Tiger, and why mom and dad keep refusing to buy a single item being sold via saturday morning cartoons.

        I like the recommendation: Market truly healthy options to kids and not garbage. Try watching TV during child-friendly programming and count the number of adds specifically selling junk to kids vs selling actual healthy items to kids. It’s a sad ratio for adult advertising, but it’s downright appalling for kids.

        We always have made rules different when it comes to kids: Kids can’t work the same as adults, they can’t perform certain functions, they have special protections and limitations. This seems pretty overdue since the number of ads targeting children instead of their parents has been shooting up for decades.

    • ldillon says:

      “Why blame the companies that make it?”

      Because it’s wrong?

      I don’t think it’s inappropriate to hold companies to a moral standard, at least not by voting with our dollars.

      • DariusC says:

        This is exactly why I mentioned the fact that they are so integrated into our lives because nothing was done right out the gate when they made them. Science and discovery was limited by the technology of communication. Thus, companies got away with more. Same thing with the “tonics” back in the day. This is why I love having Consumerist and Consumer Reports around. I even plan to work with them on resolving consumer issues with our new social network when it launches. The customers are the ones that make the business, why not try your hardest to serve them? That’s the business model of the future (and was the business model of the past until companies got too big to care).

    • ldillon says:

      Wouldn’t favoring traditional breakfast offerings versus newer 50% sugar breakfast cereals be a “conservative” stance?

      • DariusC says:

        PaloConservative or NeoConservative? The answer is the former, Palo’s resemble libertarians today in many ways. Still, the political landscape constantly changes and cannot be accurately defined with broad terms like the ones everyone uses (including myself). It’s just easier to use them because there aren’t many other defining words.

    • RayanneGraff says:

      Why bother arresting drug dealers either? After all, it takes two to tango, and nobody’s FORCING anyone to shoot heroin.

      Companies that knowingly sell products that- when used as intended- cause harm, should be held accountable.

      • rmorin says:

        You have not the faintest clue of what you are talking about.

        Having a bowl of sugary cereal is not dangerous to one’s health what so ever. Having it in conjunction with tons of other unhealthy things will probably be, but guess what? Much could be the same about nearly any type of food.

        Ice cream, candy, cakes, soda, any QSR, most family dining restaurants, should all be banned under your severely flawed and screwed ideals. What a joke.

        • DariusC says:

          Agreed, nobody is forcing those sugary grains down your throat but you. Same with shooting heroin, etc. It’s a choice, that’s the point I make. You can’t stop someone from making a choice if it hurts themselves, only advise against it.

    • Psychicsword says:

      I wouldn’t even say most cereals are bad for you. Just because they have sugar in them doesn’t mean it will make you fat. This liberal anti-sugar food crusade is getting on my nerves. Sugar is naturally occurring and it is part of our everyday life style. Just because a cereal isn’t 100% whole grain and enriched with every possible vitamin without any sugar added doesn’t mean it is bad for you. Breakfast is designed to give you the initial energy boost you need to start the day.

  9. Package Man says:

    What starts out as a voluntary government program, is likely to turn into mandatory. The government needs to stop trying to baby everybody and tell them what’s best for them and let them figure it out on their own if they so choose. If they want to eat unhealthy crap and die at 50, that’s their CHOICE.

    • darklighter says:

      “What starts out as a voluntary government program, is likely to turn into mandatory.”

      [citation needed]

      • Slader says:

        The Income Tax

        • Rayon Fog says:

          When was the income tax ever voluntary? It started out during the Civil War as a mandatory 3% on those earning $600 to $10k per year. Those making above $10k paid a higher rate. It was intended to be temporary, but it was never voluntary.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        [citation needed]

        Military service, fancy light bulbs, seat belts, school lunch, turn signals, low flow toilets…?

  10. BennieHannah says:

    Meanwhile, the restrictions they’d like to impose on my uterus — like being vaginally probed with an ultrasound stick before I’m allowed to end an unplanned, undesired pregnancy — are involuntary, and totally not “going too far.” But might feel better out it if the probe were brightly colored, and had a cartoon spokesperson.

  11. craftman says:

    “House Republicans Are In Favor Of Ads That Make Your Child Harass You Into Buying Junk Food”


    “House Republicans are in favor of allowing Americans to use their freedom to decide whether or not certain purchases are worthwhile or not, even if it means dealing with a difficult child”


  12. Telekinesis123 says:

    If you cannot control your kid and need the government to censor people becuase of your inability, I think you need to look at personally becoming a better parent rather than lowering everyone else to your standards.

  13. Dont lump me into your 99%! says:

    The tone of this article is very much biased, something I would not expect to see from consumerist, but then again, its been going down hill for awhile.

  14. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    Would everyone who has kids just be a parent?

    When I was a kid, back in the 60’s/70’s, and I lived with my parents, they decided what cereal I ate. What a concept! Mom made me eat Wheat Chex, shredded wheat, Cheerios, and oatmeal most of the time. She also limited the amount of sugar I could dump on them. From time to time I was allowed to choose a box of Lucky Charms or Captain Crunch, as a treat, as in maybe one bowl per week until the box was gone. I didn’t die. I wasn’t scarred for life because I didn’t get Booberries or whatever to eat. And yes, I watched cartoons and saw commercials for other cereals, but my parents said no, and meant it.

    Fast forward to when I had my daughter – she wanted the same stuff she saw on TV. I said no. I purchased the cereals that I felt were appropriate, and bought certain items as snacks from time to time. She survived too. Now she eats Kashi.

    It’s like people can’t say no to their kids, and want everything regulated so they’re not the bad guys. Your kids don’t buy the groceries. If they are hungry, they will eat oatmeal!!!

    end of rant. Thank you.

    • sponica says:

      as I’ve said before, the far greater danger in Capn Crunch is cut roof syndrome…

      i don’t have young’ns yet but they’re going to eat the cereals I buy gosh darn it…which means they will come to despise tony the tiger and his frosted flakes

      cocoa puffs are a nice topping for ice cream though….I eat them straight out of the box when I want a dessert

      • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

        When I was a kid, I got the Cap’n Crunch boat. I suspect we had to send in boxtops or something. And I learned early on to let the milk soak in a little longer to avoid the scratched roof of mouth syndrome.

    • exconsumer says:

      You paint this as some sort of evidence that your parents had somehow mitigated the effect of advertising on themselves and you, but I don’t see it that way. Which of the foods you chose to eat, or that your parents chose for you, were not advertised. Wheat Chex, Shredded Wheat, and I’ll guess, Quaker Oatmeal. And when you could choose, Captain crunch. Not eggs and bacon. Not avocado smeared on toast and topped with olive oil.

      How did your parents save you from advertising, again?

      I’m not trying to be a jerk, I’m just pointing out what advertising does. Even when it is ‘unsuccessful’ in that you buy a specific product, it is still usually successful that skews your view to include a category of food you otherwise wouldn’t. You chose between Wheat Chex and Captain Crunch, but your choices were never that narrow, and would never have been without advertising.

      • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

        Re saving me from advertising, that’s a good point. I still ate “advertised” cereals, but they insisted that I eat mostly good stuff as compared to sugar puffs or Frankenberries, or whatever they were called :). And I did want stuff, because I saw it on TV, but they said no, meant it, and didn’t waver. Mom even got Wheat Germ for me to eat on ice cream (I still love the stuff).

        And we had eggs, but they were fresh brown eggs from the farmer at the edge of town, and we had whole milk too. And we ate butter. This was before Mom became the Food Police of present day. Fond memories.

        • exconsumer says:

          It’s great that your parents, and you with your daughter, held firm.

          I still find the whole thing perverse. What if it wasn’t TV that persuaded your kids? What if it was just some dude, down the street, who had been visiting your child periodically, telling her how great fruit loops were. After school, maybe saturday morning, maybe after dance practice, just talking about how great fruit loops were and how they were healthy and how much kids just love to eat them for breakfast. Already pretty weird right?

          So what if you asked him to stop and he said no; that it was his freedom of speech to do this, that it was totally normal. And then you found out that he was hiring people to speak the message to your child on his behalf. You’d probably try for a restraining order.

          But . . . what if the city council smacked down that restraining order and sided with the man down the street siting his freedom of speech, and also your child’s freedom of choice. And then it makes the papers. And all your friends give you a hard time for being such a jerk to the man down the street, who just wants to get rid of all his fruit loops he got at a great price. ‘Why can’t you just be a parent and say no?’ ‘Why do you need the government to take care of you?’

          Might sound like a strange place to live. But it isn’t. You already live here.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I’m about the same age and I don’t remember the 1970s being some time of great awareness when it came to eating healthily. Cereal by and large back then was pretty awful and it was open in it’s awfulness (Many cereals started with Sugar…). If children weren’t pressuring their parents, then parents were just making a lot of bad decisions.

      Then again, I’m guessing the argument was that as many calories as possible should be given to kids in the morning and sugar-fortified cereal was an easy way to do this.

  15. Mike says:
  16. ARP says:

    Expensive to produce, voluntary guidelines are stupid.

    In this case, give people the information they need to make an informed choice. Improve labeling so that a parent can see that one bowl of Sugarbombs have 40% of a child’s recommended sugar (yes, sugar is a form of carb, but I think its qualitatively different than say, brown rice). If they still want to buy them, that’s their choice. Right now our labels have some of that information, but not enough.

    • eeelaine says:

      Voluntary guidelines help with informed choice, because they provide some clarity in terms of “this is good” and “this is bad”. Yes its not a perfect solution, and the line will be a murky one, but that’s intentional, and at least its one more piece of information to combat the one-sided story told by advertisers.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      Don’t most people know that that stuff is bad for you? Why should companies have to spend their money spelling things out to the extreme because so many people refuse to educate themselves about food? Even my 9 year old can pick up a box and tell me whether something is bad for her or not based on basic info we have taught her. It isn’t that hard.

  17. dolemite says:

    Eh, I agree with the food companies. Grow a spine and tell your kids what they will eat. We don’t need the government telling us what to eat and drink.

    • StarKillerX says:

      Beyond that what the write doesn’t bother to point out is that while these are voluntary does anyone really believe that if this doesn’t work that they will become manditory regulations?

      I’m always amused at the whole “OMG advertisers are targeting X” with ads. Yep, that’s normally the way advertising works and unless they are target a group of people for whom their product is illegal then I don’t see an issue (for example if a beer distributor mad ads specifically targeted to underage drinkers.)

  18. Ixnayer says:

    I’m gonna take a wild guess and say Mary Beth Quirk has an Obama2012 sticker on her car? Pretty biased headline and writing from a supposed unbiased site.

  19. jrwn says:

    Isn’t this the same guidelines which the students of a LA school rebelled against because the food was nasty?

  20. Wolfbird says:

    I remember being raised on tofu and whole wheat and other forms of horribly gross “food”. Commercials showed me not every kid was fed tastless health food so I’d hound my poor parents’ asses to get them to buy my the cereal with the plastic dog in it. Never got it, but that never stopped me from trying.

  21. nikalseyn says:

    Just what we need——-more of the government telling us what to eat and how to raise our kids. Leave it to Democrats to be for more and more government intrusion. Isn’t life under The Great Imposter and his Marxist cohorts wonderful??

    • drjayphd says:

      Just what we need——-more of the government telling us who to pray to and that we have to carry our rapists’ kids. Leave it to Republicans to be for more and more government intrusion. Isn’t what life will be like under The Great Frothy Mix and his fascist cohorts wonderful??

      Face it, both parties favor expanding government in different ways. Knock it the fuck off. (And yes, the profanity’s called for here, as I’m sick of uninformed people calling the President a socialist, Marxist, etc. Live under actual Marxism (fun fact: no one ever did, because any attempts to institute that weren’t pure Marxism) and get back to me.

      • Darury says:

        So, if we just elect the right people for “pure” Marxism, that will resolve tens of thousands of years of human nature to self-interest? Sweet… I’m sure we’ll get on that with the next election or two.

    • ARP says:

      So, you’re saying there is no private ownership of business? Does GE, MicroSoft, Dell, Boeing, Halliburton, etc. no longer exist.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      Unlike “your” people who want to tell me, as a woman, what I can do with my body, and who want me to pay a higher percentage of my income in taxes than the average billionaire.

  22. APFPilot says:

    maybe an eecb to these guys: would help with the slant that the “independent” consumerist seems to have.

  23. SteveHolt says:

    How shitty does food have to be before its not allowed to be sold? I think we need to raise the bar a little.

    • Groanan says:

      I think once it becomes a fraud to call it food we should stop its sale.
      :::looking at you, products made mostly of cellulose:::

  24. No Fat Chicks says:

    Obama needs to stay the hell out of my kitchen. It is none of his business, nor his puppet Associated Press” what we eat. I remember when Government was FOR the people.

  25. Preyfar says:

    That’s how your brother died, Sally. Lucky Charms. They were magically delic–OH? You didn’t know you had a brother? It… well, it was hard on the whole family. He died right before you were born. Sucked into his bowl of Lucky Charms, never to be seen from again. We kept the bowl on the table for weeks hoping he’d come back, but… he never did.

    We had to pour him out.

    We messed up. We failed him… and… and, well… he’s gone now. We decided that YOU would be different. That you would be better! That we’d never let Lucky Charms take you away, because we love you. A LOT. We love you so much we don’t want to see you take away.

    And while we’re letting you know about your brother, we may as well tell you about your sister. That’s right. It’s… hard on all of us, really. You had a sister, too. Janice. But she made a very, very bad choice when she stole daddy’s Jello Temptations. You know that noise under your bed late at night? That creaking sound in the house when you’re trying to fall asleep? That’s your sister, trying to escape. If you get real quiet and hold your breath sometimes you can hear her screaming for help.



    And that’s how you get your kids not to eat Lucky Charms.

    • Preyfar says:

      Ack. This was supposed to reply to aloria. Somehow when I did “preview” on my reply to her it became its own comment.

  26. brinks says:

    I can’t believe I’m siding with Republicans, but I am.

    Parents need to man up (or woman up) and just tell their kids NO. And junk food isn’t going to kill them if it’s in moderation. I grew up being allowed some Twinkies, Cheez Balls, Cookie Crisp, and Happy Meals from time to time, and I’m not a fat ass.

    Plus, eliminating marketing to kids won’t stop clueless parents from feeding their kids crap.

  27. OmnipotentMLE says:

    Several points-

    1.) There aren’t that many companies in the cereal industry. It’s probably 3 or 4 tops. They make all kinds of cereals, healthy and unhealthy. Encouraging companies to push their healthier brands isn’t going to cost them business. Why can’t they make the healthier cereals appeal to kids (if it’s cartoons and bright colors and prizes that attract them). They won’t lose their customers, it’s just pushing them from one product to another. Or limiting the marshmallow to cereal ratio a few points. The companies also own a lot of the non cereal breakfast items, so if the children decide they want waffles instead- the company STILL makes money.

    2.) the government subsidizes grain production in this country. We allow these companies to make more money by giving them a handout, were not being unreasonable by asking them to make their products a little healthier. If they want the government to butt out of their business, the first place the government should butt out of is subsidizing all that grain.

    3.) healthy food is more expensive than the unhealthy stuff. Parents can’t be blamed for shopping with a budget in mind. Also, I taught preschool and some parents rarely get to spend time with their kids because they’re working all the time. The time they do have with their kids, it’s not unreasonable that they don’t want to spend the time in a battle of wills over a damn box of cereal. Also, everyone who reminisces about their parents making them healthy hearty meals growing up, not everyone is that lucky to have parents who have the time or energy to cook for them.

    4.) who pays for healthcare costs of poor children? The government, therefore, the tax payer. Since my tax dollars are going to take care of kids who don’t have parents who can afford or have time to cook for their kids, it’s not unreasonable to ask the companies making the food to help with the issue, if its making the sugary food a little less sugary or push the healthier options a little harder.

  28. Groanan says:

    How abouts we just stop the corn subsidies and make these products cost what they really cost?

    Wouldn’t that force our food supply to get a little healthier?

    I mean, I know we choose our foods, but the grocery store has corn in just about every processed product on the shelves, and the meat comes from animals raised on corn, all because it is artificially cheap.

    • Slader says:

      Actually, it might have the opposite effect because the sugar that is artificially inflated would decrease in price.

  29. vliam says:

    Point of trivia.

    The Representative for the area including Battle Creek, Michigan?
    Not a Republican.

    How many Kellogg’s employees live in Rolla, Missouri?
    Who is she really representing?

  30. ap0 says:

    Mary Beth Quirk generally writes snarky to-the-left articles for Consumerist, but usually it’s subtle enough that it flies under the radar. She must be feeling lazy today.

  31. exconsumer says:

    That we tolerate the direct marketing of these nutritionally bankrupt foods to our children is monsterous. Stop telling yourself the fairytale that your children are not affected. They are, by definition, not able to make those kind of decisions. Adults have difficulty guarding against advertising. Children are defenseless. Yes, we should have a ‘choice’, and do, to use our government to put a stop to these predators.

    • Groanan says:

      Advertise to children all you want, unless parents are recklessly handing cash over to their children, or caving into their demands, there is no reason to worry about brainwashing.

      Kids should constantly be bombarded with things that look amazing that they cannot have, otherwise they will end up spoiled brats.

      The answer to speech with which we disagree about is more speech, not censorship.
      Parents have much more opportunity to communicate to their kids than any specific cereal company.

      • Stickdude says:

        Kids should constantly be bombarded with things that look amazing that they cannot have, otherwise they will end up spoiled brats.

        Or they become OWS protestors and demand the government take the amazing thing from someone else to give it to them.

        And yes, this is a political comment on what is supposed to be a non-political forum. Mary blew that door wide open with her headline…

      • exconsumer says:

        How many millions of dollars do you spend teaching your children the right things to do, learn about, and eat? How many millions of dollars does Kellog’s or Bandai spend?

        Offering our children’s minds up to the highest bidder is not freedom. It is the opposite of freedom.

        • Groanan says:

          How many dollars do we have to spend to brainwash our own children? Unless we are skipping work to do so, zero dollars.

          They pay millions because that is the cost to rend ad space, you have no valid argument based on cost.

          Your freedom never extends to you agreeing with everyone else’s speech, it never has, and if we stick to the constitution, it never will.

  32. DonnieZ says:

    Cartoons have advertised products for years, always have and it’ll be a sad day when the time comes that they can’t anymore. I didn’t eat Frosted Flakes as a kid because Tony the Tiger was on the box. It was a combination of the fact that they tasted good and there was usually some crap trinket in the bottom of the box that drew me in. (Notice how cereal box prizes have went by the wayside in the past 10 years?)

    This is just another leftist attempt to try and regulate what’s good for me. “Oh please.. Won’t anyone think of the children….”

    The slant on this story is so obvious it’s disgusting. Why is the Internet full of Republican haters? About half of the people in the US are Republican – where are they when it comes to the Internet. Did Al Gore pull the welcome mat in front of the Internet for Republicans??

    • RayanneGraff says:

      “About half of the people in the US are Republican – where are they when it comes to the Internet.”

      They’re all old. Republicans are dying out(thank goodness), most of them are middle aged & are not avid internet users like the younger leftists are.

      • Libertas says:

        Hopefully you will be alive with some kids to inherit a nation of complete dogshit. Then they can stand around waiting for your ass to die too.

        • DonnieZ says:

          The nation is pretty much there already, and it’s no conicidence that it happend as the nation has been getting more liberal…

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        “They’re all old. Republicans are dying out(thank goodness)…”

        People tend to get more conservative as they get older. This wont be changing any time soon.

        It’s all a cycle… Most are pretty liberal when they’re young, gradually get more conservative once they hit a positive net worth and/or have children, and then shift back to the left once they’re old enough for SSI/Medicare.

        Political tides also change quickly. Every few years, someone is claiming a permanent majority for themselves or permanent obscurity for their opposition. It’s not anything new.

        The only people who are dying out are our grandparents, the children of the Depression, who were loyal, FDR Democrats, who voted solid party lines for their entire adult lives. Every subsequent generation has been much more fickle when it comes to party identification.

    • DonnieZ says:

      I forgot the most imporatnt part of this post…

      What about the parents’ ability to say “No.” Children don’t buy groceries, adults do. If you think your kid shouldn’t have something, don’t buy it for them.

      I guess that’s one more “service” the government is able to provide, being a parent.

  33. bigd738778 says:

    Ok so GOP doesn’t want the Federal Government involved in making your children healthier because they don’t want the FED’s in your business but they do want to control where you surf on the internet? Glad I’m a Liberal, it’s not a dirty word.

    • Slader says:

      Actually “Liberal” you need to open your eyes, it is the liberal Obama administration that is pushing SOPA and the liberal Obama administration that wants to be able to turn off the internet with the flip of a switch.

  34. spittingangels says:

    So the Republicans feel that the government should “study the potential costs and impacts of the guidelines before implementing them” when it comes to the marketing of unhealthy food to kids but doesn’t feel the same way about an interstate oil pipeline running all the way from Canada to Texas?

    • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

      It’s been studied to death. It is a mandatory part of the permit application.

  35. jacobs cows says:

    Keep the govt out of my cereal bowl and into my toilet bowl.

  36. pot_roast says:

    I have to agree with them on this one. If you don’t want sugary cereals in your house, then grow a pair and tell your little precious ones the word “NO.”

    This seems to be a waste of the FTC’s time and efforts anyway.

  37. Emily says:

    This is the rare issue on which I agree with House Republicans. Advertising is in the world… just prepare your kids (and yourself) to resist it. And indulge every now and then, because a box of frosted flakes isn’t going to kill you. Eating a little of everything, exercising moderation, and enjoying your food — keys to a good diet.

  38. Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

    House Democrats are in favor of legislation that forces folks to pony up for health insurance they may not want or pay a steep fine*.

    *except if you are a member of one of the thousands of companies/unions who lobbied for Obamacare and then were granted exemptions by the POTUS.

  39. Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

    The only thing that “makes your child harass you” is your shitty parenting skills. The only solution is for House Democrats to support legislation that forbids irresponsible, enabling douchebags from procreating. Problem solved!

  40. ben_marko says:

    Ok, Consumerist….your Gawker roots are showing (not a good thing). You probably could have used a better tagline at the top. Yes, the Republicans are trying to interfere with a good thing. But it isn’t the evil overlord drama you portray it as…it is merely partisan politics.

  41. tooluser says:

    Or more correctly:

    House Republicans Are In Favor Of Free Speech — an inalienable right endowed upon us by our Creator, and specifically enumerated in the rules meant to guide our country — while Democrats are Against Free Speech, in any form that doesn’t suit their personal outlook.

  42. Lance Corvette says:

    Or, you could have title this article, “Republicans in favor of letting businesses run their own business and letting parents raise their own children instead of trying to control everything that everyone sees, hears and does in this country”

    Alternate title.

  43. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    That’s funny…I was pretty sure that if a parent wanted their kid to eat Malt-o-Meal and a banana for breakfast, then that’s what they got.

    As a side note, I think that video games should be forced to make rhymes with stuff. Like you can only get mana from a Mana Banana. And then there’d be the Darjeeling of Healing. And, um, the Ocean Motion Potion for when yer on a boat…and, uh, the Crossbow of Mofos. Yeah, that’s the ticket! Dagger of Mick Jagger! Surcoat of Deepthroat! DILAPIDATED CLOAK OF YO MOMMA’S FAT @$$!

    Wait that doesn’t rhyme. Well…whatever. Off to find more beer. Deer Beer (see: Schell’s).

  44. B2BigAl says:

    Oh look, the government is trying to legislate good behavior. That’s new.

  45. shadowboxer524 says:

    Was I the only kid who didn’t beg for a cereal because of cartoon characters and bright tigers?

    Honestly, the biggest advertising ploy I fell for was Ovaltine (which has no cartoons or bright colors). Those damn kids seemed to love it so goddamn much, I begged my dad to buy some for me.

    Fucking. Disgusting.

  46. tjustman says:

    Maybe House Republicans want parents to do their effing job and tell their kids no.

    Stop the Nanny State B.S. please!

  47. ozmark says:

    You know, companies are people too, and I’m glad our politicians are sticking up for the “compeople”. Screw you, government oversight. If I want to be controlled, it’s not going to be by you Obamanazis. Corporations, thank you for knowing what’s good for us, and for sticking by your (hired) guns to push what’s right for us.

  48. Robert Nagel says:

    Then what is next? Advertisements for other things the Obama’s don’t like? Parents don’t have to buy anything. It is not up to the government or the Obama’s to tell people what they should and should not buy. What if Obama decides he doesn’t like comic books or video games? Let a republican try to ban ads for abortion and see if they still think censorship is a good idea.

  49. Admiral_John says:

    How about parents just tell their kids “No, you can’t have that cereal”?

    I grew up in the 70’s and remember all sorts of commercials for these kinds of cereal (“Honeycomb’s big! YEAH YEAH YEAH! It’s not small. NO NO NO!”) and when I asked for them when we were shopping I was told no.

    There’s no need for the government to micro-manage things like this.

  50. waicool says:

    Now we have Mary Beth Quick going all righteous political on us. Paleeeze. Mary Beth would be just fine in a land where the government made all of life’s decisions for her. Come on Consumerist, you are better than this.

  51. proliance says:

    Yes, please take more of my tax money and give me more government intervention in my life. Why not just create a progressive handbook that tells how to do everything?

    Follow up with government cameras installed in our homes to check on us and dispense proper corrective measurement when we don’t wipe our asses in the government approved method. After all, the government always knows best.

  52. KitanaOR says:

    God forbid the parents make the decisions on what their kids eat.

  53. pgr says:

    Conservative Republicans are all low life, self centered, scaredy cat scum. They should all buy guns and practice shooting at one another. Only then will this be a safe, clean and healthy place to live.

  54. bitplayer says:

    To all the hardcore Repubs here talking about government overreach etc, let’s see how quick the GOP rallies against Trojan if it tries to sell condoms to teenagers. Suddenly the government will intervene in people’s lives then.

    • Duffin (Ain't This Kitty Cute?) says:

      Just because they’ll be wrong about that, doesn’t mean they’re wrong about this. There are ALWAYS going to be hypocrites in the government. I’ve come to accept that. But, when they’re right, they’re right (at least for the moment).

    • Mrbyte2k says:

      I don’t believe that’s right either. I’m not a Democrat or a Republican (not that much difference between them nowadays anyway). I just believe in less government is better government. People need to take responsibility for themselves and not rely on the government to do it for them

  55. 8bithero says:

    Is it really that damned hard to say “No” to your kids?

    I do it everyday. I must have some sort of super power!

  56. Duffin (Ain't This Kitty Cute?) says:

    Yeeeeah, gotta side with the Republicans here, as much as I hate to do so. Yet another example of the government trying to turn us into Nannyvile USA. How about, oh I dunno…being a PARENT! Take some damn responsibility. Oh, no, ads are brainwashing! Well…I find that to be a pretty exaggerated statement, but even if it is true…guess who actually has the money to buy sugary cereals. Just guess! Do the kids have money? Doubtful. Oh, right…the PARENTS are the ones with the money. Maybe they should try what my mom did with me. Saying the word “No”.

  57. Mrbyte2k says:

    Parents should learn how to tell their kids “No” rather than relying on government regulation.

  58. BettyCrocker says:

    The key to the sugar cereal is to get the really high in sugar one that they really want right about the time they have the stomach flu. A few bouts of throwing it up and they’ll never want sugary cereal again. ;)

  59. myteebay says:

    A family member who happens to have Type 1 diabetes visited recently, and I spent a lot of time reading nutritional labels on the food in my pantry as I tried to feed her. I was interested to see that Raisin Bran, a cereal that really isn’t marketed to children, has 17g of sugar per serving, and Coco Puffs, a cereal that clearly is intended for the kiddie market, has only 10g of sugar per serving. Now, I know that you can’t only look at one piece of information out of context and get the whole picture, but my point is, parents need to read labels, monitor what their kids watch, and make informed personal decisions about what they bring into their homes. Wny expect the government to do for you what you don’t have the will to do for yourself (“stop me before I buy a sugary cereal again!”)? Where we spend our consumer dollars can be a powerful tool for change.

  60. Taylor Rolyat says:

    My Aunt’s kids don’t eat sugary cereal, and has a tradition of only letting them do so for a week or two around Christmas as a treat. You know she wins this epic battle against her children, Post, and Kellogg’s? SHE DOESN’T BUY SUGARY CEREALS!

    I realize you may think this is a fun little Republicans-are-evil-and-don’t-care-if-your-kids-become-fatties post, Ms. Quirk, but this is the same kind of idiocy as that of the moms in San Fran “fighting” the Happy Meal toys at McDonald’s, only this time it’s at the federal level.

  61. IWanaGoFishing says:

    How about a new headline: “Republicans stop the government from growing larger, prevent smothering of the population.”

  62. exconsumer says:

    I just don’t get the controversy. Should someone be allowed to mislead your child? Should someone be allowed to tell them that something of low quality was actualy high quality? Something unsafe is safe? Something dirty is clean?


    What if they did not lie but twisted or withheld facts until the truth was hidden? What if they employed psychologists to this end and took advantage of the vulnerable mind of a child?

    Still no?

    What if they paid you? What if they paid you millions of dollars and gave you very nice things? Would you then allow them access to your child? Would compensating you personally make up for the fact that they were misleading your child? Would you be doing right by your child if you did that?


    Well, what if they did not pay you, but paid someone else. What if they paid everyone around you, or maybe certain people in key places to allow them access to your child or to mislead your child on their behalf? Would it be okay then?

    The consensus here seems to be that yes. As long as they mislead skillfully, and do not compensate you personally for it, then it is permissible mislead children.

    I would like to offer, as an alternative, that it is never really ok to mislead children, even if they do it really well, and even if they don’t compensate parents personally. I think it is not ok because the misleading is still taking place. And, just as though they tried to lie directly, or directly manipulated, or directly manipulated but paid me; I would not limit my response to simply conveying the correct information to my child. I would go the extra step and try to stop those who intend to mislead. And really, I feel the fact that they do it well and that they do it indirectly is all the more reason to put a stop to them.

    That’s as plainly as I can put it.

    • exconsumer says:


      If I were to allow someone to lie to my child, or mislead them skillfully, or pay me to mislead them skillfully, I would not consider it an embrace of some sort of freedom. Quite the opposite, I would consider my child less free, as they have been mislead, and are less likely to make informed decisions. I would also consider myself less free, as I was unable to do the one thing that mattered; stop my child from being mislead.

    • Taylor Rolyat says:

      “Should someone be allowed to mislead your child?” How about “Should parents be given back their free will as consumers, which apparently the federal government needs to waste time and money in an attempt to restore it?” Last time I checked, elementary schoolers don’t carry around wallets, their parents do, the latter of whom are the ones BUYING the so-called unhealthy cereals.

      Post, Kellogg’s, and their fellow cereal companies are not the Philip Morris Company, yet somehow any attempt to restrict their business practices is treated like they make nicotine-O’s (Nicotine-berries? Frosted Nicotines?). These companies also make Total, Special K, Cheerios, Mini Wheats, and a host of other less sugary cereals to choose from. If parents want their kids to be healthy, they’ll choose those boxes instead, because healthier cereals are NOT kept in some lockbox behind the counter with the cigarettes and cough syrup, preventing helpless parents from giving their kids a better breakfast.

      • exconsumer says:

        So the answer is, ‘Yes, it’s OK for people, under certain circumstances, to mislead my child.’ Or at least, you wouldn’t support an effort to stop them. Their right to sell things trumps your child’s right to accurate information . . . or rather, trumps the desire you and your child have for accurate information, as accurate information is not a right or something one should expect.

        That’s not a strange or crazy answer, most people think that.

        • Taylor Rolyat says:

          The parents DO have a right to information, on behalf of their kids (not to mention a right to decide where to spend their food budget): It’s called the “Nutrition Facts” label, and it’s already on the side of EVERY SINGLE BOX of cereal. I don’t have kids, but thanks to my literacy and decent vision, somehow, without the federal government’s help, I’m able to read that a cup of Kellogg’s Raisin Bran Crunch has 20g of sugar while a cup of Kellogg’s Special K cereal has 4 g of sugar while doing my grocery list at my local A&P. Wanna know which one I bought?

          I feel terrible for the parents who don’t have this same right to information too, wait what?

          • exconsumer says:

            Nutrition information is a useful, but Information the company presents regarding the cereal is not limited to the nutrition information. It is just the opposite, the company focuses on presenting your children, directly, an innumerate idea of their product: that it is completely healthy, that it is suitable for everyday consumption, that it will make them happy. The bulk of their time, energy, and money is directed to this end. How much time and energy is directed towards conveying accurate information: A small area on the side of the box that, depending on how young your children are, they can’t possibly understand. Yes, you are there to help correct this manipulation, but should such a large part of your efforts be directed towards undoing the manipulations of other people?

            You wouldn’t let a stranger down the street sell your children magic beans. The more time and energy they spent, the more sophisticated their methods, the angrier you would get, and appropriately so: your children don’t need magic beans and the person selling them does not have your children’s best interest at heart. We shouldn’t let these kind of people hide behind the concept of freedom of speech and choice while they trample all over it.

    • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

      None of what you say matters one bit if you are a responsible parent. Explain to kids what’s going on and they will eventually understand. It’s your job to look out for them until they do. Part of learning the difference between fact and BS is being exposed to both ‚Äì it‚Äôs called the real world. If you aren’t exposed to reality as a kid you grow up to be a whiny liberal who has to depend on others to look out for their best interest.

      • exconsumer says:

        “Part of learning the difference between fact and BS is being exposed to both ‚Äì it‚Äôs called the real world. If you aren’t exposed to reality as a kid you grow up to be a whiny liberal who has to depend on others to look out for their best interest.”

        So, were you exposed to the idea that the world was flat? Likely you were, as an example or leadup to the way the world really was, but I doubt you spent a lot of time exploring the idea. Did you spend a great deal of every day bombarded with the idea? Were people spending millions of dollars to get you to believe the idea? Was there an ad campaign, with prizes inside? Probably not. Has it turned you into someone who has to be led around by others? Probably not.

        Should anyone try to teach my children, or the children of someone else in the community, that the world was flat, and spent millions of dollars on the initiative; I would be foolish to simply tell them ‘Not so’ and allow the hypnosis to continue. I’d have a duty to put a stop to those who spread falsehood. I think the same is true here.

  63. dush says:

    This is such a subjective rule. Why don’t parents just stop being lazy? Then it wouldn’t matter what companies do.

  64. Taylor Rolyat says:

    Mary Beth Quirk:

  65. rushevents says:

    I guess freedom of speech is completely irrelevant here?

  66. exconsumer says:

    This kind of advertising is fine because . . . Free Will. Freedom of Choice. Etc.

    So, what happens when we make choices that are not influenced by million dollar ad campaigns. They do still exist. Are those choices not free choices? Has your decision making been superseded or interfered with in some way?

    Comments seem to imply that heavy influence is required for a ‘free choice’ to take place.

  67. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    There is a cure for begging kids. It is called “no.” If no doesn’t work, it becomes, “We are putting back everything you’ve picked out so far.” After that, it becomes, “You are grounded from…” I can keep going, but I won’t. Just parent your kids and it won’t matter that they see a few commercials on TV.

  68. Mike says:

    Listen, I don’t buy cereal becasuse it’s healthy.

  69. No Fat Chicks says:

    Extremely liberal bias story. Hmmmm, getting to be a theme on Consumerist.

  70. VashTS says:

    I understand the logic parents need to parent, but it’s only so much can be done since everything advertises. I those people say all parents need to be parents or the government should turn a blind eye to this crap, all kids should be raised in convents.

    Maybe the corps shouldn’t advertise to children to nag their parents, instead do a GOOD commercial that is meant to minipulate.

  71. Tigerantilles says:

    Whatever happened to telling your kids “no” and turning off the damn television?