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Walt Disney is closing down its children’s television channels so young viewers will stop watching hours of cartoons and play outside. Just kidding. But that really would have been a story worthy of the millions of dollars of free publicity the US company achieved this week by announcing new standards for food advertising on shows targeting children and families.
Luckily for children everywhere, Disney’s new guidelines would technically still allow ads for, say, a yummy McDonald’s meal of chicken McNuggets, world famous fries and a kiddie cone (460 calories, 4.5g saturated fat, 560mg salt, 6g sugar). And with a healthy 30 per cent operating margin in TV, Disney can easily risk $10m or so of ad sales – estimates Kantar Media – without upsetting investors. A PR triumph!
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