Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Weapons of Mass Consumption

"The problem here is that you're dealing with a segment where you have these huge obesity issues and you're making eating Big Macs and double cheeseburgers look like it's fun and exciting," said Jerome Williams, a professor of advertising at the University of Texas, Austin, and one author of an Institute of Medicine report last year on the marketing of junk food to children and teenagers.

Or so reported the New York Times, in today's business section. Dr. Williams comments would be a whole lot funnier if his concern wasn't reflected in the tone of the rest of the Times article. One can imagine the possible solutions. Government should restrict advertising that makes such dangerous products look fun and exciting. Insane, of course, but I admit, it'd be rather fun to be the guy who gets to decide what products actually are fun and exciting and can be advertised as such.

Update (1:15 PM): The impact of Dr. Williams statement just dawned on me. The problem isn't that we're advertising Big Macs as fun and exciting, it's that we're advertising Big Macs to Blacks and Hispanics as fun and exciting. Doesn't that just make everything better.


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