Speak Out: MOM's Removes Products With Ads Aimed at Kids

How do you feel about products marketed toward children?

MOM's Organic Market, a Rockville-based grocery store with a location on Herndon's Elden Street, 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. 

"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 three-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.” 

Tell Us: Is it OK to market products toward children? Should marketing toward children be regulated or illegal? Tell us in the comments below.

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Vera Blouir January 18, 2013 at 02:29 PM
Kudos to Mom's for this responsible decision!
Gary Perez January 18, 2013 at 02:47 PM
Seconded. Each time we shop at Mom's, my 4yo. son finds his way to the frozen section to look at the products with Elmo and Grover on the boxes.
Christopher Scott January 18, 2013 at 03:51 PM
You cannot regulate freedom of speech that you find "shady". The first amendment protects popular and unpopular speech. The last thing we need is more of government telling companies how they must run their businesses. It is the responsibility of grocers like MOMS to pull the brands they dislike and the responsibility of the parents to tell their children no. When I was a child I knew not to ask more than once. Parents need to put on there big boy/big girl pants and teach their kids that asking repeatedly for a snack, toy, etc is not appropriate behavior.
Christopher Scott January 18, 2013 at 03:59 PM
Also, and the TV is not your babysitter. If you do not want your children to be indoctrinated by speech, ads, etc that you do not like then turn it off and engage your children in other ways. Parents need to come to the realization that they must raise their children the way that they want them to be raised. You are the adult, and it is your obligation to be the filter. Stop with the narrow belief that you need more government regulation to be a better parent.
Gary Perez January 18, 2013 at 07:24 PM
Mom's pulling these products is neither a symptom of a larger problem (any desire for a more controlling government) nor a reward for anyone being a lazy or otherwise permissive parent. Assuming that someone who supports Mom's decision fits into one (or both) of the two undesirable scenarios you've constructed is myopic, and serves only to bolster your own sense of self-righteousness. Now is the time you tell me to get off your lawn.


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