The report itself is moderately interesting and useful, even for us grizzled TCT vets who know that the expansion of marketing is built into our political-economic order. Example: Under the ever-growing tide of sales-messaging they see, 15% of pre-schoolers now ask every day to be taken to McDonalds.
Of course, especially coming from an Ivy institution, the researchers also adopt the obligatory limp-leg routine that has always marked Naderian special pleading against corporate capitalism’s relentless life-endangering output. Imagining that somebody in the overclass will soften up and take their plea for concern to heart, they studiously avoid making sharp institutional diagnoses, so as not to offend their intended audience. (C. Wright Mills called this ingrained obsequiousness “liberal practicality.”)
Playing dumb and pretending that, despite the mountain of screaming evidence, it’s all just a big mistake is also part of this schtick. Consider this remarkable bubble-headed passage:
The restaurant industry response: The two largest fast food advertisers to children, McDonald’s and Burger King, have joined the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) pledging to advertise only “better-for-you” choices to children, and the majority of restaurants have introduced some more nutritious options to their menus.
But critical questions remain: Are these actions having a positive impact? Or, does the sheer volume of marketing for restaurants’ least nutritious options eclipse any positive efforts?
Let’s see now: Either the fast feeders are legitimately trying to promote healthy food, or they are making gestures that they and every non-brain-dead critic know full well to be mere “halo-ware” strategies.
At Yale, they can’t make this call? Draw your own conclusions…