As part of Burger King’s commitment to the Better Business Bureau’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, the company has promised not to “approve, pay for, or actively seek the placement of Burger King food or beverage products in the program/editorial content of any medium in the United States primarily directed to children under 12 years old.”
The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) has announced that the company is actively involved in cross-promotions with the new PG-13 movie Iron Man. Burger King products appear in the film, and Burger King will reciprocate by giving away toys based on the movie’s characters.
This is troubling for a number of reasons. The film’s content is described as both violent and suggestive due to its references to terrorism. By making these toys available to children as young as three, Burger King is undermining the film’s PG-13 rating.
This is not the only example of misleading marketing. CCFC reports that on April 22, 2008, Nickelodeon aired Burger King Kids’ Meal promotion ads during shows with TV-Y7 ratings (shows appropriate for children over seven-years-old).
As CCFC states in its press release, “Even as childhood obesity and youth violence are significant public health problems, a major fast food company and a major motion picture studio are working together to promote junk food and violence to children.” You can contact Burger King’s corporate headquarters at 305.378.3000 or Consumer Relations at 305.378.3535.
CCFC Press Release: http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/pressreleases/ironman.htm