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Marketing Has Helped Make us a Nation of Fat People


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Marketing Has Helped Make us a Nation of Fat People




"At the rate that technology is advancing, people will be implanting chips in our children to advertise directly into their brains and tell them what kind of products to buy," Hillary Clinton said at a Kaiser Family Foundation conference.


Fat_child She said the fastest growing advertising market is the 6- and under set, and that children's health is already being hurt by products like Camel's candy-flavored cigarettes and junk food sold with tips for video games - used to sell more junk food.


"People are spending billions and billions of dollars enticing children basically to be obsessed with food," she said. "These foods are almost universally unhealthy." Clinton has offered legislation to study the effects of the "advertising-saturated, media-intense" world on kids.


I am not a Hillary lover. But she is fundamentally right about the harm advertising is doing to our nation’s children and making us a nation of fat people.


Of course, legions of marketers would violently disagree with me.


Why do many in marketing have a knee-jerk reaction to claims that advertising can be harmful to children and other members of society?


Look at the issue this way.


People who own guns and hunt are anti-gun control. They defend their position by citing the Constitution and claiming that guns don’t kill people. People kill people.


People who like pot are anti-pot control, and see government desire to keep its use illegal an unwarranted reach into people’s personal lives – especially when alcohol, which causes greater harm, continues to be legal.


Companies that depend on low income employees don’t like to see the minimum wage raised, and claim that to raise it from levels set a decade ago will greatly harm the economy..


People who have a vested interest in something tend to be against any restriction on their enjoyment of that something and often invoke the general welfare as a basis for their thinking.


Indeed, it has been said that the public man is equal to his private motives, transferred to the public arena and rationalized in the name of the public welfare.


Hardly anyone wants to be grossly fat. Obesity is not simply a matter of failed character.

Obesity has many causes. Some arise from metabolic disorders. Others emanate from the brain. Some people have weaker impulse resistance than others simply as a matter of genetic inheritance. Other people by virtue of behavioral conditioning have come to depend on food the way alcoholics depend on booze (remember, many alcoholics have a genetic foundation for their addiction.) I’m not proposing that people addicted to food or alcohol bear no responsibility for their addictions, but I think marketers should ponder their own role in weakening people’s resistance to habits that promote unhealthiness.


It's a self-serving cop-out for any marketer to absolve the marketing profession of any role in the obesity pandemic. Perhaps were a marketer who absolves marketing of any responsibility for the national obesity problem a physician instead of a marketer, he or she might be more inclined to see the matter differently.


I am embarrassed by much of what goes on in my profession. We marketers should seriously contemplate the meaning of the finding in a recent poll that placed marketers just above used car salespeople in terms of trust. And why should we be highly trusted? We “target” with not a tinge of guilt children (as well as others) to sell products that are unhealthy. We renounce any claim of responsibility by saying what children consume is up to their parents.


Hillary is right.





I am no supporter of Hillary Clinton, but I have to admit she has got a point in this article. :axesmiley:





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