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Disney Goes Healthy
By: Jed Moran
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Sometimes the best advertising involves slimming down. For Disney, that means restricting all “junk food commercials” on all Disney-owned channels — including ABC — during blocks of programming targeted to kids under twelve. But they’re not stopping there. Get ready to see the new “Mickey Check” logo: “Good For You — Fun Too!” It’s a stamp, soon to be seen in grocery stores everywhere, that allows marketers to show they’ve been given the big mouse’s stamp of healthy approval.
When most of us think of kids, we can’t help but make a few associations, two of the most common being cartoons and sweets. But no more can America claim its kids are getting fat from sitting around watching cartoons — well, at least not from Disney cartoons. Disney is making a bold move in that realm. They’re separating the snacks, at least those they’ve deemed unfit, from their programming.
And we’re not just talking about candy. Disney has set up some pretty strict nutritional guidelines for its advertisers wanting to play on the twelve-and-under market. For instance, all cereals — and what American kid doesn’t like a bowl of cereal with his Saturday morning cartoons? — must contain under 10g of sugar per serving. And brands like Capri Sun and Lunchables...well, they’re out all together.
According to Disney, advertisers looking to run food ads on their under-twelve blocks need to stick to guidelines: snacks with less than 150 calories per serving, juices under 140 calories per 8oz serving. And the only sugar allowed in juice? It’s for that of the cranberry, and no more than 5g per serving.
While the folks at Disney might lose a bit of revenue in the short term from their sweet-tooth advertiser friends, in the long run, this move towards health could make Disney not only lean in the waist, but...fat in the pockets.  Besides changing the face of their program advertising, they’re also gearing up to launch that new “Mickey Check” logo.
Oh, and one more thing: next time you’re in line at Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, don’t go hankering for a hot-dog and thinkin’ you’re gonna find one. Disney’s even giving the menus at their theme parks a gut check, vowing all theme park food to be sodium-reduced by 25%. Yep. Mickey and Minnie done went on a diet. And apparently, you and your kids are goin’ right along with ‘em. That is, of course, if ya wanna be part of the club!

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About the Author
Jed Moran is "that dude" tryin' to ... "Make it in Hollywood." My hustle 'til I pop like a white Will Smith??? Writing wacky ad/copy for the TV/Film business. Find him online here.
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