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Sesame Street under attack for airing McDonald's commercials

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by Phillip, Oct 14, 2003.

  1. Frazzle New Member

    Although fast food is not exactly a healthy choice of a meal, Mc Donalds does support positive causes which is good. I think it is crucial for parents to encourage healthy eating habits in children, rather than blame the media for a typical junk food craving from a small child. Advertising can draw an audience to a product or service, but it is up to the discretion of the consumer to make the choices of what they eat or buy. It is up to the parent to have final say in those matters involving children. I can see eating fast food as an occasional treat, or for extremely busy times, but for a kid to ask for it every day & a parent to actually oblige is wrong. Everything is okay in moderation, therefore I don't think Mc Donalds should be placed under scrutiny for being a sponsor. Eating fast food isn't dangerous to one's health, if done in reasonable moderation. Parents need to take responsibility in providing guidance, rather than blaming outside sources. Good habits, values, & choices come from good, strong guidance.
    ;)
  2. GeeBee New Member


    I don't think the problem is just McDonald's. I think it's the whole package of what Sesame Street has turned into and how different it is from its original essence.
  3. Hays New Member

    Not that this would ever happen, but I think we'd all be bothered if Sesame Street were sponsored by Jack Daniels and had similar "ads" for their product (though a lot of PBS food shows are sponsored by wineries)

    I agree that fast food isn't the problem, here - but I maintain that PBS cannot produce quality shows unless it gets support from sources that don't have an ulterior motive.
  4. manoftheSTREET New Member

    Ralph Nader is protesting Mickey D's ads on the Street?

    I guess this means we'll never hear his reindition of "People In Your Neighborhood" again. ;)

    Sincerely,

    John "manoftheSTREET" Kilduff...

    Points if you caught my reference.
  5. JLG Member

    You got four PBS stations? Man! Where did you live?
  6. ISNorden Active Member

    Not everyone who wants to support public TV through an individual donation, is financially able to do so: for what it's worth, I live in a nursing home and literally get a dollar a day in spending money from the state. Considering that some "optional" care in this facility costs money, I'm unlikely to have enough left to give Sesame Workshop what they'd need to produce decent shows. The best I can do is encourage those who can afford to give...and, yes, sometimes buy from the corporations who fund Sesame Street. (I may not buy any of the child-related products since I'm not a parent; and I may not eat at McDonald's on a regular basis. But once in a while I'll order from them when the home has "carry-in lunch" days; adding a few cents to the donation fund is better than nothing.)
  7. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I will say one thing. At least they don't try to cover up an advertisement for their product with a "quick question" or "We thought you'd be curious to know." I mean, Ronald McDonald barely even appears. Maybe his arm or so. And the logo. That's about it. While I don't approve of this as much, at least it isn't as blatant as some of the others.

    Beaches? it shows people having fun at a resort.

    Remember Spagetti O's? They blatantly advertised their product "with as much calcium as a glass of milk."

    On Arthur, there was an obvious ad for Instant Cinnimon Buns. And there was one for Juicy Juice and Alphabets. Both advertised their product clearly.

    Then there was the one before Clifford by Lipton's instant soup mix that invited kids to "Use their Noodle," while bowls and spoons were subjects of a game.

    Curious George starts off with 2 advertisements. One "cleverly disguised" as a Science fact for how Sunmaid Raisins are made. "We thought you'd be Curious to know." And the worst one? An actual advertisement for Amazon.com. Not even hidden. They advertise they now deliver Groceries. Yeah. Thanks.

    Thanks be to the ever shrinking budget, and no one wanting a small protion of their taxes to government grants to PBS, when we're all too happy to use it to hire some politician's brain dead nephew, or give a foreign dignitary of a rich country a nice little caviar and wine dinner.
  8. Ilikemuppets New Member

    Well, it drives me crazy that McDonald's makes up these things that they encourage children to do when their all about selling hamburgers and playing Nintendo DS in their Wi-Fi hotspots restaurants. Because Playing video games while eating fattening food is really being active. Just wish they wouldn't pretend to do or be something their not.
  9. travellingpat Active Member

    I dont know i think he kind of had a point...although i think its fine sesame street is getting sponsers besides the money given to them by the country, it kinda of sends a mixed message....hey kids go outside and blay and then go eat a big mac....idk he has a point and he doesnt......its one of those things lol
  10. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Personally, as I said much eariler, the question shouldn't be that McDonalds and SS should come under fire for having a partnership, but that PBS should come under fire for having commercials in their "non-commercial" programming.

    But I'm sure a three year old won't see a 30 second cryptic commercial and say "mommy, gimme a big Mac."

    This is another one of those double edged swords. look at other children's programming. They have to limit the ammount (and soon delete it all together) of "junk food" ads during kids' programming. Seems like a good idea, doesn't it. But then of course, the hidden cost is that Children's programming is now virtually unprofitable to come up with. Cartoonists are losing jobs over this. (which is why I'm concerned).

    Junk food ads can live in harmony with the health food PSA's. Parents need to learn to say NO and kids need to take responsibility for themselves too. No! You don't need to go to McD's and buy the biggest thing every single day after school. If so, it's your fault you're doing it.

    BTW, is it just me, or does anyone else see less and less kids getting the kid's meal?
  11. Ilikemuppets New Member

    My thin is dishonesty. It's that they say they encourage kins to do things like music, arts and to use their imagination when they are a business that sells fast food. Let's get real here.:rolleyes:
  12. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I was saying, it would be great if PBS didn't need any of these advertisements---errr sponsers. or even better. if they were the quiets sponsers and just had their logo flash at the end saying "we are supported by___________" like they used to do locally.

    McD's or anyone, this is a pretty crummy thing that's going down. Too bad no one wants to help fit the bill for PBS, but can complain about them accepting advertising.
  13. ISNorden Active Member

    Even a business that sells fast food can support causes entirely unrelated to food: McDonalds already funds a charity for terminally ill children (who are unlikely to be able to eat their products). So why is it necessarily dishonest for them to say they support music and the arts, too? That's at least not contradicting their work, unlike all the "active play" stuff from their older ads on PBS. Sad as public TV's lack of funding is, not every corporate sponsor is an unethical villain who cares only about pushing products.

    As for being unwilling to foot the bill for public TV, I've been at both ends of the pledge appeal: before I went to college several years ago, I worked as a telephone fundraiser for the PBS station in one city where I used to live. There are more willing-but-unable, low-income viewers out there than you'd suspect; blaming them for not keeping ads off PBS is like demanding that a starving family donate half their groceries to a food bank.
  14. heralde Well-Known Member

    I honestly don't mind that PBS supports McDonald's. McDonald's is nice every now and then, as long as you don't eat it everyday. And as ISNorden said, the company has run a successful children's charity for years. They know their main market is children and that it's in their interest to appeal to kids' activities and interests.

    The only I ever object to is McDonald's support of the Olympics. "Proud to feed America's atheletes!" Heh, yeah, that's where the atheletes go when they lose! ;)
  15. frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Blame Washington Politicians

    :p I wouldn't say that lightly, but conservatives lobbied (and succeeded) to pull significant funding for PBS and other arts programs. They now must have some sort of big commercial sponsorship to get by.

    McDonalds isn't my first choice for sponsorship. I have long felt that fast food, corn syrup and many other underhanded industries have helped contribute to the decline in American health - especially among youth.

    That being said, Sesame Workshop has insured that the ads aren't centered on McDonalds' fast food, rather the logo and organization. Not great, but they aren't shoving greasy burgers at kids. I wish they could get a better sponsor. I'm sure the mixed message doesn't thrill them either.

    McDonalds is a philanthropic company and that's a great thing. I just wish they had a product that wasn't so unhealthy. I liken them to Big Tobacco in many ways. :grouchy:

    There have been rumors of Sesame producing new episodes on cable (where they could have better funding without the shady advertising) and have those episodes later re-run on PBS. I don't know if it is at all true, likely or a good idea. Just something I've heard get bounced around. :(
  16. heralde Well-Known Member

    The thing is, you can eat McDonald's occasionally and not have your life threatened. You don't have the same guarantee with Tobacco.

    I'm not saying we don't have a health crisis in this country, but things need to be kept in perspective. What's needed is discipline, not a ban on all junk food. :)
  17. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    (Hugs Heralde)

    Thank you. Banning is only going to make the problem worse. What we don't need is Cheeseburger speakeasies.

    But as I said, while I'm not a fan of it, they are sadly the least commercial of all the other corporate sponsers on PBS.

    If anyone has any episodes from the early 00's on tape, with sponsers in tact, please post the Spaghetti o's ad. They were advertising a product. McD's I give credit for not showing so much as a fry in their ad.

    The only real way to help this is if these companies wanted to be "quiet" sponsers, and just say "Funding is provided by such and such, this and that, and so and so." The plus side to that? More time for the TV show.
  18. frogboy4 Inactive Member

    I agree, however I do know some "social smokers" that light-up once or twice a week with a cocktail etc. Time will tell the effects. I hope they remain well, of course.

    I also see how needless cheap additives like corn syrup, beef tannin and concentrated sodium help to create addition to a product. "Betcha can't eat just one" is not just a slogan, it's a mantra. They are counting on it. :smirk:

    I don't believe in banning things so much. Adults are often treated as children in the US. I do find it a terrible travesty that junk food is cheaper than healthier options. Many low income folk fall prey to it because of the bargain and find they have little to no healthcare coverage later in life. :attitude:

    There needs to be incentive for companies to provide healthier options. Good efforts, I mean. A lot of the fast food ones really are just for show. They usually aren't around long, aren't at every location, aren't necessarily low-cal or fair quality. I keep seeing kids these days at the movies and the mall and they are getting overweight much more quickly these days than when I was young - and I grew up in Texas. I'm talking California!

    There is a crisis, but grand standing and coming down on Sesame Street is not helpful. They've found, for now, the best way to manage their company. Ralph Nader led the charge against Sesame Workshop a while back. You know, if he's what healthy is supposed to look like... :concern:

    (Now please excuse me as I get ready to hit the gym for daily cardio. He he, but seriously it only takes 20 - 30 minutes daily of low-level cardio excercise to achieve, over time for some, and maintain a fantastic level of fitness!)
  19. Ilikemuppets New Member

    That's very true. I do know that they fund charities and that that have The Ronald McDonald House (My cousin stayed there when she was very Ill). But I guess I wasn't aware that that did those other thong, too. It's cool if they do!:)
  20. Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Indeed. Corporate America wants to get everyone they can fat. Not just the fast food companies. One way, they can sell health shakes and pills and prey off the fatophobic, and in the other way, the people who don't want to lose weight can keep buying the cheap stuff. I really think the people who work with the healthier stuff are also at fault here.

    But let's not forget the 20 minute lunch hour, and people working long hours to get more money for things they don't really need, and having to give kids the unhealthy stuff. It's all about keeping the poor man down, IMO. Why else do you think rich celebs look like stick figures? In the old days when only the rich were fat, Paris Hilton would probably be 400 pounds or something. But times have changed, and the rich want the commoners to look like commoners.

    But then we hear "OMG! The kids are so fat! What's the problem?" and when the answer is the school lunches are made cheaply, and consist of fatty gristle that would make Ronald McDonald blush, the only solution is more money into school lunches. Which yeilds this response..."YUCK! We don't want our taxes going to that!" But as I've said earlier they have no problem having their taxes go to foreign dignitaries eating caviare and lobster cooked by a celebrity chef.

    When a problem arrises, the blame always gets switched to something small and easy to fix. When you go to the dark underbelly of the problem, you have problems with poverty and depression. But we turn a blind eye and say, "It's Lays fault." and not, "People are getting paid less and less, everything's going up, we're on food stamps as it is, and all we can afford is generic junk food to feed our family."

    But I must ask one thing. How come when it comes to junk food ads, everyone's willing to pull them off the air. But when it comes to a more serious problem, needless drugs and medications sold to a duped mass consumer group, we can live with the Nasonell Bee and the 2 sources of Cholesterol. And don't forget Abe Lincon and a gopher telling people to not work on the problems with their stress, pop a sleeping pill, and have them sleep drive off a cliff.

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