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Forums > Social Discussion > Marketing fastfood to kids

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ickleMatt
ickleMatt

enthusiast
Location: L.O.N.D.O.N.
Member Since: 4th Apr 2006
Total posts: 242
Posted:McDonalds is the largest toy company in the world, selling or giving away more than 1.5 billion toys.

McDonalds is now the biggest purchaser of satellite photography; to hunt down schools and busy road junctions to spew their products.

McDonalds holds focus groups for toddlers.

Is there any surprise that some kids can recognise the goldern arches before their own name?

Guardian - Comment is free

I remember as a young kid bullying my parents into taking me to McDonalds. This insidious propaganda needs to be exposed to give parents the strength to resist their moaning kid's demands.


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jo_rhymes
jo_rhymes

Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops
Member Since: 10th Apr 2005
Total posts: 4525
Posted:I agree with what Birgit said about our own responsibility. We all have minds and I know that when I have kids they're not going to eat at McPropaganda or Murder King. I'm a responsible person and I know what's what.
I don't need to wear mascara because someone's telling me "I'm worth it". I'd rather have my 5 thanks.
The other day Sym ate a bowl of Shreddies to keep "hunger locked up til lunch" only to discover he was starving again by 11am! He said "I cant believe i was brainwashed by that advert". It's weird because Sym hardly ever watches TV.
I think being aware of whats going on around us, questioning what we're being told, and what we're seeing, and using discernment, I think we'll be ok smile


Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

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Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted:Neon, I'm a diabetic and my parents had to say no to me all the time, not just about McDonalds. I was denied McDonald's even the few time that my sister got it.



They also had to trust me from a very young age to not eat things other than what I was allowed at other kids' birthday parties, or at school where I could buy things with my pocket money. And guess what, they didn't run away from the responsibility. I'm not a parent, but just saying "but my child nags" is NOT an excuse. Hell, I nagged them day and night at times!



It's not like brand clothes, it's about your child's health!! Nagging is no excuse, really. How about, if it gets too bad, bribe them with something nice for eating healthy food? Kids usually want more than one thing they don't need. I got a little present every time I had to go to have my blood taken because my mum knew I was terrified of the evil head nurse.



I don't know how to enforce my ideas on a big scale, Matt, but on a small scale I do. Look around you and your family and friends and help when it's needed.



Other than that there is my usual idea of taken children as young as 5 or 6 to hospital to people who have agreed, and show them what they'll look like once they have heart disease, diabetic feet, liver cirrhosis, HIV or lung cancer. Repeat it at an age where they are better able to comprehend the connections to nutrition, safe sex, smoking, drinking etc.

EDITED_BY: Birgit (1149248255)


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted:Oh, and improving services for parents, so that even extremely uneducated or disinterested parents are strongly encouraged (= made to if they don't do it willingly) to look after their children. I don't know how that can be done without investing billions, but every time I see a 10-year-old standing around with his parents who are drinking in the park, it makes me sick. And all I can do is let them play with my poi and be a kid for a while, hoping the parents will let them. Most of the time they're probably glad to be rid of the kids for a while shrug

"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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Sym
Sym

Geek-enviro-hippy priest
Location: Diss, Norfolk
Member Since: 28th Sep 2004
Total posts: 1858
Posted: Written by: jo_rhymes

The other day Sym ate a bowl of Shreddies to keep "hunger locked up til lunch" only to discover he was starving again by 11am! He said "I cant believe i was brainwashed by that advert". It's weird because Sym hardly ever watches TV.



It's true, I was looking at my choices and I saw the Shreddies and thought "oh, that'll keep me going till lunch". It's amazing how easy it is to start thinking about things like that...


There's too many home fires burning and not enough trees

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Seye
Seye

Geek
Location: Manchester, UK
Member Since: 27th Mar 2005
Total posts: 1261
Posted:I dont intend to stop anyone doing anything.

When I buy something it is because of the technical merits of the product. I may have some branded equipment but it is because it fulfills certain criteria not because it has been 'sold' to me.

I think the act of persuading people to buy your product or brand is unethical. If people dont want your product make it better or suffer the consequences. Apple have become terrible for this in recent years. They were manufacturers of specific purpose computing equipment. Now they sell average consumer products (and 'lifestyle accessories') that are often no better than a cheaper alternative.

In the case of Apple this all comes down to fashion branding which has always been an ugly unethical persuit.

Advertising is seperate and distinct to marketting. If I tell you that I am a DJ I am advertising my services. If, on the other hand, I tell you that 'your party will be nothing without my unmistakable blend of beats, breaks and bass' I'm marketting myself to you (and blowing much smoke up my own...). The two things are not mutually exclusive but they are certainly not integral parts of one another.


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ickleMatt
ickleMatt

enthusiast
Location: L.O.N.D.O.N.
Member Since: 4th Apr 2006
Total posts: 242
Posted:Birgit:



Personally I don't have any issue. Most of my friends stopped eating junk. My sister will never take her child there. All in all I'm not worried about that.



I am worried on a wider scale - clinical obesity based on gluttony is a crime when you realise how many people are permanently in a state of malnutrition. To realise that some companies are encouraging this is physically disgusting and clearly unethical. I think this must happen at the counter marketing, education and legislation level.



How about the government spend ten million or so (not a lot in the great schemes) and come up with some amazing lifestyle marketing the promotes healthy eating. Should pay off by cutting costs at the NHS in the long run.



May it would be possible to get the hospital visits built in to the school syllabus.

EDITED_BY: ickleMatt (1149253828)


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Hanz
Hanz

veteran
Location: Bendigo, Vic, Australia
Member Since: 7th Jun 2004
Total posts: 1328
Posted:everything comes back to TV, wouldn't it just be easier if people didn't have TV?

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Sym
Sym

Geek-enviro-hippy priest
Location: Diss, Norfolk
Member Since: 28th Sep 2004
Total posts: 1858
Posted:http://daghlian.net/scrapbook/zentv.html


There's too many home fires burning and not enough trees

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Neon_Shaolin
Neon_Shaolin

hehe, 'Member' huhuh
Location: Behind you. With Jam
Member Since: 13th Jul 2005
Total posts: 6120
Posted:Birgit - that is exactly what I'm saying.



Your parents had a concrete reason not to give you that food and they stuck to it. If parents were made aware that fast food can do more damage than just 'make you put on a little weight' I'm sure they'll be as strong willed in saying 'no' to their kids.



And to focus on parental responsibility is a bit narrow-minded as well. The argement is about sowing the seeds of a person's 'NEED' for McDonalds at such a young age. This also extends to the time when the kids are able to go and buy the food for themselves.



Worst case scenario - having been brought up on a combination of media bombardment and denial by the parents the kid gets his pocket money or money from a paper round (should that be discouraged?) and just goes to McDonalds anyway... Yes he is told by his parents that he can't have it because it is bad for him, yes the healthy fruit and veg that mum and dad give me IS nice. But DAMN he could half murder one of those BIG TASTY BURGERS he saw on TV when he was younger/his friends rave on about how their parents take them to get....

He gorges on them wondering what he has been missing all his life after wondering about it for so long...



This thread is mostly about the blanket media coverage of advertisement of products that are directly marketed to kids. The effect of which parents will have vary degrees of success of overcoming...


"I used to want to change the world, now I just wanna leave the room with a little dignity..." - Lotus Weinstock

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ickleMatt
ickleMatt

enthusiast
Location: L.O.N.D.O.N.
Member Since: 4th Apr 2006
Total posts: 242
Posted:Seye:

I disagree with you on Apple... but this has been argued into the grave so I won't bite.

What you are suggesting regarding advertising will lead to 1,000 adverts for DJs and no way of differentiating between any of them! Whether you get one which will what you want will be purely based on luck.

If a DJ big's themselves up stupidly, well some people will think that is cool and will employ them. Other people will think 'what a pr*ck' and plump for someone who plays it a bit cooler.

From the horses mouth:

Marketing, as suggested by the American Marketing Association, is "an organizational function and a set of processes for creating, communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its stakeholders"

(Wikipedia)

How can you not place advertising in this definition?


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Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted:Neon, given that everyone here's talking about tv anyways. The media coverage of obesity has reached levels that are impossible to ignore. No parent can say they don't know what it does to children. Or if they do, they probably live so far off the world of media that McDonalds won't send their staff there.



Just to clarify, I'd never recommend a zero fastfood attitude. I had a friend in kindergarten who had to leave every party sick because she wasn't allowed any sweets at home, so stuffed herself at other people's places. Bad idea. Some sweets, or some fastfood, every now and then is not a problem in my opinion.



But for your example: If the kid does a paper round, I don't see why he/she shouldn't go and have a burger. They walk or go on a bike, they use their body, they can eat something unhealthy once in a while. It's perfectly fine with me. It may be happen that he then gorges on them. But unless he develops an eating disorder, this will be a phase. I had that phase with sweets when I was old enough (about 12) to realise that they were just carbohydrates, too, and a healthy dose of insulin can kill them. It's part of growing up to develop a bad habit and fight your way through it.



Matt, I'd love the government to spend more money on helping good nutrition. Things are being improved in schools already. I wouldn't mind forbidding marketing at schools altogether, too. Maybe 1 way would be to show parents videos instead of giving them leaflets about nutrition, I know I'm being discriminating here, but I think there is a correlation between fast-food consumption and watching tv instead of reading.



Some of the ads against obesity or teenage drinking on Scottish tv are quite drastic, too, which is good. But at the moment they target people the wrong way, by making them look ugly and ridiculing them, which - if you have a serious eating disorder - is really not the way to go. Giving more help to lose weight instead of pointing fingers and saying "you're obese!!" might help, too.


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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Seye
Seye

Geek
Location: Manchester, UK
Member Since: 27th Mar 2005
Total posts: 1261
Posted:Matt - I think you want me to seperate the two idea's completely. I cant do that. As I said they are not mutually exclusive. For me Marketting is advertising taken to a deeper and more sinister level.



As far as I can see education is the key to this. People who understand that they are being marketted to can choose to ignore (the majority) of this bombardment. In fact there is very little difference between this and understanding that news stories are skewed to present that 'facts' that serve the media companies best. When you know this you can deconstruct the information and form a much more rounded view yourself.



Sym - I had to do a few essays at uni on 'modes of consumption'. TV is quite often a great example of people passively watching but not actually participating mentally in the event. (How else could we have yet another series of big brother? wink )


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Gnor
Gnor

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Perth
Member Since: 31st Mar 2003
Total posts: 5814
Posted:It is up to the parents.

We need the fibre to say "this is the way it is"
Educate the palate to non sugar/fat and chances are Maccas will be icky to them anyways. Thats my experince of the parents around me who make a moral and food stance against fast food.

Our parents had to resist the evils of lollies and icecream except as treats. The disposable income we now have plus the cheapness of fastfood makes it really accessible. We think we are hard done by if we cant get fast food most weeks.
Take a quick look in lunchboxes and see why schools have clamped down on canteen food choices. Most of us parents think a normal lunchbox should have chips, dips and biscuits and a juice in it with a sandwich. Yet we cry poverty while we fill the box with crap. Illogical. My kids have the most boring lunchbox out. The one who will eat fruit is ok but the other two have drink and sanwich most days. No treats

I love my fast food, as do my kids. But I may never order extra mayo ever again wink (Or if I do will make sure the shop is really busy)


Is it the Truth?
Is it Fair to all concerned?
Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Im in a lonely battle with the world with a fish to match the chip on my shoulder. Gnu in Binnu in a cnu

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onewheeldave
Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield
Member Since: 28th Aug 2002
Total posts: 3252
Posted:Couple of weeks back I watched a UK docu and happiness which touched on advertising.

First of all let me say I disagree with Birgits stance- I'm personally happy to see the advertising, marketing and 'pushing' of food/drinks that are health damaging and habit forming, barred from schools and TV advertising targetted at children etc.

Why? Partly because, as Birgit says, it's important to take personal responsibility and make your own choices- I choose to want to live in a world which doesn't target its most vulnerable members (young children) with marketing designed to get them hooked on habits which will damage them, which are notoriuosly difficult to cease using once the habit is formed- purely so comnpanies can make profit off it.

I believe that a lot of other people feel the same way and urge them to stand up and make their feelings clear.

Anyway, back to the documentary; it visited a place which may have been Bhutan? Where the government had recently banned Coke and Pepsi signs from shop fronts and hoardings.

A interviewed minister, when asked why, replied with the kind of clarity, logic and straight talking which only seems to come from those with buddhist influences-

"We have plentiful abundant, delicious water, running free in our streams. Why would we wish our young people to be beguiled and deluded into believing that they need Coca Cola or Pepsi to satisfy their thirst?

I've never heard any other rminister anywhere, so succinctly show this kind of marketing for what it is- a deliberate attempt to delude the most vulnerable members of our society.

And I applaud a governent which, when it comes to its economy, puts the happoiness and freedom of its population above purely financial considerations.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted: Written by: Birgit


Fair enough, McDonalds marketing is bad. They even target sick kids in hospitals.



or:

 Written by: Birgit


Matt, I'd love the government to spend more money on helping good nutrition. Things are being improved in schools already. I wouldn't mind forbidding marketing at schools altogether, too.



You're not disagreeing with me at all, Dave. I don't like the marketing, but with what I've seen of the British society (or most Western ones at that), the problem goes deeper.

It's easier and less hassle, so we (= lots of people, noone in particular) do it. It's less hassle to take a car than to walk or ride a bike, so we do it. We have a barbecue, so we buy disposable stuff and we can just throw it out instead of cleaning it. To cook a proper meal takes time and fresh ingredients cost money, so we get even pancake dough in a plastic thingy to put directly into the pan. Playing with the kids is tedious, so we sit them in front of the tv and are surprised if they want the Barbie doll they see advertised in the breaks every 10 minutes. We don't have money to buy our kids fresh veggies, but they have a mobile phone at age 8 (or if they don't, at least WE have the newest one there was in the shop). shrug

I really think kids are let down, not just by regulations and what is or isn't allowed, but more and more by their families. A lot of their susceptibility to advertisement goes along with a neglect of parents to tell them what the ads do, or control what they are exposed to.

By the way, if you tell kids some things they'll stop wanting stuff. I was just out of primary school when most of my class stopped eating McDonalds because of the rainforest, and the styrofoam boxes they were then still using, and later because of the working conditions. Educate kids and a lot of them will make the right choices anyways.


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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wonderloey
wonderloey

enthusiast
Location: Melbourne - home of pirates
Member Since: 21st Feb 2006
Total posts: 255
Posted:What it boils down to is responsibility... Where does responsibility for children's welfare lie?

Is it in the hands of parents/caregivers of children, who are legally and morally responsible for the welfare of their children, and should be teaching them throughout their lives about food, and diet, and what's good for them?
Of course.

Is it in the hands of governments, that fund schools and health facilities now and in the future? Yup.

Is it in the hands of multinational corporations that gain a major portion of their profits through selling to children? Again, yes.

Unfortunately, a lot of parents are ill-informed (for whatever reason) about the kinds of dirty tricks that companies use when marketing directly to kids. They aren't in a position to teach children how to think beyond these tricks, because they often don't see beyond the child screaming for Maccas.

Its cheaper for governments to push responsibility back onto parents instead of regulating the kinds of advertising/marketing that can be directed at children (who don't have the necessary skills to decipher what is real and what isn't).

As for corporations, until they are forced to change their unfair tactics, they will continue to have free rein on children's minds.

What can we do? Put your money where your mouth is. Boycott products which unfairly target children and "pester power" as a marketing tool. Lobby your government, ask for more legal protection for our kids. After all, its just a matter of dismantling the coming obesity bomb, which we will all pay for in tax dollars in the coming decades if we don't take action now.


"You've gone from Loey the Wonder Lesbian to everyone wondering if you are a lesbian." - Shadowman

Yesterday is yesterday. If we try to recapture it, we will only lose tomorrow.

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ickleMatt
ickleMatt

enthusiast
Location: L.O.N.D.O.N.
Member Since: 4th Apr 2006
Total posts: 242
Posted:Some good points, thanks wonderloey.

Not only do we have to look at responsibility, but we have to look at the power that each actor has to fulfill this responsibility.

So responsibility is across the parents, governments and corporations. However I argue that the current economic system doesn't allow the corporations to fulfill its responsibilities - ethical considerations are out weighed by the responsibility to the shareholders. Shareholding was designed as a way to spread the economic benefit of company growth; but this system has failed in a world where there is growing inequalities.

In this scenario it is upto the government to either work to change the economic rules or legislate against unethical practices. Education *can* work, but unless it is radical in its subject methodology (ie. turns it 'question everything' - which would be rather unpaletable to the conservatives in most societies) it will purely be fire fighting; it doesn't go to the root of the problem.*

But who picks the government and who holds it accountable for its actions or lack of? We do.

I think the unethical practices of large multinational corporations has the potential to unravel the fabric of the modern economic systems. Unethical practices in a interconnected world could lead to inequalities (of which we are only realising the extent of) which will undermine the social and political fabric. How this unravels and the affect it will have is the big question.

* Radical education will infact go closer to the true root of the problem, however I think it is a rather utopian aspiration at the present time.


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Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted:I guess the problem is...

Parents have responsibility BUT some are under-educated or can't cope.

Governments have responisbility BUT have to find a balance between education, looking after children and money.

Companies, in my opinion, don't really have that responsibility. It would be nice if they had, but to ask McDonald's to refrain from advertising their products to susceptible people is like asking an insurance company to insure people with high risk at a low price.
Sure, they're doing things like reducing saturated fats and that already, and they've succumbed to pressure to replace styrofoam boxes by paper wrappers. It's something, if not much.
If the companies would have to act responsibly, they'd have to close down, or check ids and only sell fastfood to the same person once a week or something.

So unless all 3 work together, they'll keep shifting blame and responsibility between them.

By the way, who targets supermarkets that sell fastfood? Why is it always McDo and Burger King? Most kids aren't obese because of McDonald's only, but because of their daily fix of pizza, pasta with cream sauce, burgers, curries, sweets and soft drinks. You think they (or their families) will stop buying those if McDonald's stops advertising???


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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wonderloey
wonderloey

enthusiast
Location: Melbourne - home of pirates
Member Since: 21st Feb 2006
Total posts: 255
Posted: Written by: Birgit


I guess the problem is...

Parents have responsibility BUT some are under-educated or can't cope.

Governments have responisbility BUT have to find a balance between education, looking after children and money.

Companies, in my opinion, don't really have that responsibility.

By the way, who targets supermarkets that sell fastfood? Why is it always McDo and Burger King?



Parents have a hell of a lot of pressure on them, I agree. I also know that my parents NEVER let me eat fast food. I had plenty of food at home. I know that the experience of many of my peers was the same. (I remember being jealous of one of my classmates, who was allowed to eat fast food once a week.) What's changed? Have the dirty tricks gotten trickier? Probably.

What balance are you talking about, Brigit? I think that its up to democractic governments to look protect the most vulnerable people within any society as one of its most basic priorities.

But at the moment, it seems that governments (voted in by their constituents) are more interested in protecting the interests of large corporations.

And why is it that we don't expect corporations to be ethical and responsible? Is it because its an unreasonable expectation, or because over history they have shown themselves to be unethical to a fault? Corporations should conduct themselves with the same moral standards as individuals, and be held to the same benchmark.

As for supermarkets, I agree. However, you don't see Safeway or Coles advertising directly to children - the marketing tactics are less overt and to a large extent, less agressive. That being said, they should have the same level of responsibility.

Which is why it is up to us, as constituents and as consumers, to make ourselves heard. We have the vote and the money. Until *we* take responsibility for our part in this equation, our children will be held hostage to corporate profits.

*gets off soapbox*


"You've gone from Loey the Wonder Lesbian to everyone wondering if you are a lesbian." - Shadowman

Yesterday is yesterday. If we try to recapture it, we will only lose tomorrow.

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Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted: Written by: wonderloey


What balance are you talking about, Brigit? I think that its up to democractic governments to look protect the most vulnerable people within any society as one of its most basic priorities.




Before I explain what I mean let me just say I'm not justifying the way the systems are working, but trying to point out that without major changes some things just can't work.

1. VAT - think of all the money governments get off the sales of unhealthy food, and also other unnecessary things like the flashiest mobile, the tiniest ipod, people spending 200 on brand clothes when 20 on something else would do. All these things target kids. The money is needed, not only to support the government, but also to give to the NHS and things like social security (so that even relatively poor families can afford the flashy gimmicks).

2. Other taxes. Fast food companies and other big chains pay incredible amouonts of taxes for their profit, owning/leasing their buildings, and not least by what goes off their employee's wages. Any profit they fail making will reflect on what they can pay pack.

3. Campaigns for healthy food, supporting parents etc. We all know they're needed, but they cost. When Jamie Oliver did his campaign for better food in schools, they were haggling about pennies the government was going to spend on each child, because it does add up in the end.

4. ANYTHING else, ANYTHING, the government does to look after the children, which definitely is their responsibility, costs. Better health service - costs. Better schools - costs. Since, even if they did have the best ever intentions, they also have responsibilities for old people, sick people, homeless, asylum seekers, environment, abused people, security, research and a hundred other things, they have to draw the line somewhere. You may argue that their priorities could be a bit different and I'd agree, but I wouldn't want to be in the position to decide where to cut money off.


 Written by: wonderloey


And why is it that we don't expect corporations to be ethical and responsible? Is it because its an unreasonable expectation, or because over history they have shown themselves to be unethical to a fault? Corporations should conduct themselves with the same moral standards as individuals, and be held to the same benchmark.



As a corporation you also have a duty to your employees, to try and keep them in work. This won't necessary work if you're ethical.

Take the example I had to discuss with kids in a bioethics workshop. A young woman has a 25% chance of inheriting a deadly illness from her grandmother. Her health insurance company won't insure her because of it (at least not at standard rates). Now if you're her, of course you're upset. But if you own the company, you know you can't take on everyone on a low rate, because some people ARE more likely to claim money off you, and that'll come off everyone else's fees and probably ruin you. So to keep the company running, keep yourself and others employed, and be able to provide a service to most you have to be cruel to some.

Yeah this is an extreme example. But by definition, a company that exists to make profit will not act like a charity.

 Written by: wonderloey


As for supermarkets, I agree. However, you don't see Safeway or Coles advertising directly to children - the marketing tactics are less overt and to a large extent, less agressive. That being said, they should have the same level of responsibility.



So it's not targetting families to put sweets next to the counters where the mothers have to queue with the children? To put the more expensive stuff at eye level so kids see them and nag for them, while hiding away the cheaper things? To stock the shop full of ready meals and unhealthy food, when you could go for more fresh stuff, organic food etc in the first place? To leave those who want to eat responsibly, or be a vegan, to shop in expensive specialist shops when you might as well cater for them and offer the healthier/vegan/eco-friendly options to a larger group, and thus making it hard for kids to realise those options exist and could be easier to get? To put "buy 1 get 1 free" stickers on stuff kids would want?

Maybe they are less aggressive than McDonald's, but that's largely because they don't need to be that aggressive. An average family with small kids will go shopping in a supermarket a couple of times a week and have the kids with them, whereas they won't just happen to be in McDo and pick up a burger - McDonald's has to get them there in the first place, hence the advertising.

 Written by:


Which is why it is up to us, as constituents and as consumers, to make ourselves heard. We have the vote and the money. Until *we* take responsibility for our part in this equation, our children will be held hostage to corporate profits.




agreed smile


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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NOn
activist for HoPper liberation.
Location: ffidrac
Member Since: 23rd Jun 2004
Total posts: 1643
Posted:Do you know that little button on your tv remote control... the one that looks like a loudspeaker with an x through it? it's amazing... you press it at the beginning of an advert break and everything goes quiet, it's quite incredible...

that may sound like i'm being really sarcastic, but seriously try it, it makes your life more peaceful smile


Aurinko freedom agreement reached 10th Sept 2006

if it makes no sense that's because it's NOn-sense.

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Eera
old hand
Location: In a test pit, Mackay
Member Since: 29th May 2003
Total posts: 1107
Posted:What's so inherently unhealthy about a meat patty in a bun with some salad?
You get fat if you eat to many of them. You get fat if you eat too much brown rice.

How many people bother to read the labels on the tins and packets you throw in your trolly. When you've been working all day do you always feel up to cooking a low GI, high fibre meal? Of course you don't, that's why convenience food exists.

We've increasingly become a society where the TV is nanny, the internet is our social interaction and we can't say "no" to our kids when they want cheap plastic crap. We are becoming slovenly and it seems mightily unfair to blame a burger chain for it.

Put less in your mouth and move around more. It's not a problem then.

Like it or not, we are bombarded with thousands of adverts each day, but how many of us run out and buy a Commodore SS because the advert says we'll pull heaps more if we have one? There are ads for adults, there are ads for children, but as the only ones with control of our purse-strings, it's up to us how effective they are.


There is a slight possibility that I am not actually right all of the time.

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wonderloey
wonderloey

enthusiast
Location: Melbourne - home of pirates
Member Since: 21st Feb 2006
Total posts: 255
Posted: Written by: Birgit

As a corporation you also have a duty to your employees, to try and keep them in work. This won't necessary work if you're ethical.



I don't see any contradiction - ensuring continued employment of your staff is an ethical consideration. However, many businesses are finding fat profits in acting ethically.

For example, in Australia, over the past 15 years there have been many banks close branches in rural areas. This has had the effect of killing much of the trade in country towns. Now the banks doing this were thinking purely of the bottom line - that's what banks do, and we expect it of them.

However, one bank has started opening "Community Branches", where the local community has a 50% stakeholding in the local branch. This ensured that rural communities stay on the ground, and made the it one of the fastest growing banks in Australia. By acting ethically, even charitably, they have carved out a niche market and are making fat profits from "unprofitable" customers. If we demand companies act ethically, it won't necessarily have any effect on their bottom line.

Re: the health insurance example - you could go with the Australian model of health insurance, where it is actually illegal to charge different premiums to people for the same level of cover. Sure, I pay more while I'm young and healthy to cover the expenses of the older and sicker members of my fund, but by thinking beyond the individual it all evens out.

 Written by: Birgit

Maybe they are less aggressive than McDonald's, but that's largely because they don't need to be that aggressive.



Agreed. To a large degree supermarkets have a captive audience. They shouldn't have immunity from ethical expectations.


"You've gone from Loey the Wonder Lesbian to everyone wondering if you are a lesbian." - Shadowman

Yesterday is yesterday. If we try to recapture it, we will only lose tomorrow.

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Birgit
Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh
Member Since: 27th Jan 2005
Total posts: 4145
Posted: Written by:

By acting ethically, even charitably, they have carved out a niche market and are making fat profits from "unprofitable" customers. If we demand companies act ethically, it won't necessarily have any effect on their bottom line.





Yeah, ONE bank has done it, and if they wouldn't have opened a niche, they probably wouldn't have continued it. Good thing they did it, but what niche is McDo going to inhabit if it gets more ethical? Less advertising is not going to work for them. They'd have to change their whole concept round, which will lose that half of the customers that doesn't care about food quality, marketing and the rain forest, but goes for the price.



Re health insurance... the one I was talking about would have been private, hence my talking about the person who owns the company. So far I've lived in the UK and Germany, and their public ones are more or less fair as far as I know - the German one goes according to income, and people without income get it paid by social security. But they are not perfect, so if you want an additional private one to get quicker treatment or cover things the others don't you get a very thorough health check. Public insurance HAS to insure you though - thank God or I couldn't afford insurance...



I'd probably have difficulties with the Australian immigration health check though! From what I've read being a diabetic is on their list of things they don't want from immigrants - I've been told it only means they check everything else more carefully, probably to make up for extra costs to the health system. That's the balance between cost and ethics I've been talking about. If they let me work there, they will want to know if I can bring enough workforce to make up for some of the costs I will cause. And you know what? Much as I don't like it, I can understand them smile


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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Sethis
Sethis

Pooh-Bah
Location: York University
Member Since: 16th May 2005
Total posts: 1762
Posted:If you demand that corporations act ethically then you need to be able to find someone to complain to that they are being unethical. Often the problem with corporations is that they have no accountability, or it gets shoved off onto a grunt.

You can't demand the same standards from a group of people as you can with one person, because the solo has only one person to blame, the group has many.


After much consideration, I find that the view is worth the asphyxiation.
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I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

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NOn
activist for HoPper liberation.
Location: ffidrac
Member Since: 23rd Jun 2004
Total posts: 1643
Posted: Written by: Sethis


If you demand that corporations act ethically then you need to be able to find someone to complain to that they are being unethical.



This is true, you would also need to have someone to monitor the continuing ethics of a company, and probably provide some sort of rating as to how well they're doing. Given that for many corporations ethics, environment, sustainability are still nothing more than buzzwords, that they can throw into important reports. Environmental reports provide a narrow view of the company as a whole, and can be manipulated to present the corporation in a glowing light even if they're simultaneously hiding the fact that they use sweatshop workers. So short of having a network of corporation infiltrating whistleblowers, it's possible that corporations could simply present an ethical front, in an ethically marketed way.... unless you have spies... ethics spies (sounds like a strange dessert...!)

Umm... apologies if this post is not entirely coherent... uh... as for whether or not ethical business is a successful business, then yes, why ever not? Like any business it would be doomed to fail if it doesn't know what it's customers want, if they can successfully do that, there would actually be no need to advertise, as a lot of business would come through word of mouth. I work in a business right now, that has that exact attitude, and make profits, and there shouldn't be anything wrong with wanting to do that, in order to sustain the life of the business. Too much is put onto the idea that an ethical business must also be not-for-profit, but in the long term, that wouldn't be sustainable, with more people requiring donations and funding than is actually available. One statistic that i was given just the other day was that 1 in 4 people in the UK are employed by local government, and so are paid through the money gained by income tax. If you think about it, that's an unsustainable model, and effectively all those people are paying their own wages... If those jobs were to increase, which they will in order to cope with the increase in population and increase in demand for jobs, services and utilities, then it will eventually collapse in on itself.... uh... i think i've gone way off the point here... or maybe not, because i guess it demonstrates that the larger a business becomes the harder it becomes to manage, turning a corporation like maccyDs ethical overnight would be nigh on impossible, they would suffer extreme losses, but step by step, i think it could be done. The consumer market is very fickle, what's popular one day can suddenly be unpopular the next, and i'm sure that their consumers would slowly adapt, you never know, they may even gain some new ones, but the trouble is that first they must have the incentive to do it. They've already shown that they want to win back consumers, with the salad thing (even if the quality still leaves a lot to be desired...) so perhaps they could be persuaded if they think that's what will bring back their customers... I think they could be ethical slowly, i do, but then in the time it takes they could also be wiped out by a new up and coming organic, fair trade fast food chain, that manages to actually provide substantial and tasty food that people like, and make a hefty profit because of that...

i've completely lost track of what this post is about and i've really only skimmed the thread, so apologies if i've repeated something someone else has already said, or just gone so far off topic that it's not even relevant smile


Aurinko freedom agreement reached 10th Sept 2006

if it makes no sense that's because it's NOn-sense.

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