MOM's Organic Market, a Rockville, Md.-based grocery store with has made the decision to pull any products with marketing aimed at children off its shelves.
Specifically, products that feature cartoon characters, such as Dora the Explorer frozen soybeans and Elmo juice boxes, will no longer be carried. Those foods will be replaced with organic alternatives with cartoon-free packaging.
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"Marketing to children is wrong and should be illegal,” says Scott Nash, founder and CEO of MOM's on the grocer's website. “Advertising is a shady game. It focuses on creating a shallow emotional attachment instead of pointing out the merits of a product. Unfortunately, it works—and young children are particularly susceptible.”
MOM's said Nash, who has three children, first noticed the abundance of cartoons on products for children when his 3-year-old daughter begged for cereal branded with a cartoon character.
“Using beloved media characters to sell kids on a particular brand of food is wrong, even if it’s healthy food,” said Susan Linn, Director of the Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood in the MOM's notice. “Children should not be trained to pick foods based on the cartoon on the box. We congratulate MOM’s for taking this courageous stance on behalf of families and urge other companies to follow suit.”
Is it OK to market products toward children? Should marketing toward children be regulated or illegal? Tell us in the comments below.