October 8 2012 You’ve got a vote, so use it!
We’re getting ready for school, rushing to get everyone up, dressed and breakfasted, when I’m unexpectedly plunged into a debate with my nine year old on the nutritional value of chocolate spread, “But Mummy, it says it’s good for you in the ad!” This comment is exactly why I’m a member of The Parents’ Voice and why I vote in the Fame & Shame Awards every year.
My children know a lot about healthy food. I believe that the earlier you involve them and teach them about good, healthy food, the better equipped they will be to make the right choices when they are older. However, we’re all susceptible to sweetly whispered promises from the junk food industry, and children are especially vulnerable. If they’re assured chocolate spread is a healthy breakfast option on TV and radio, then my job of educating them about what is really healthy is made that little bit harder.
So, I’m delighted that it’s Fame & Shame time again. Will I be voting? You bet. And I encourage every member of The Parents’ Voice to do the same. In fact I encourage every member to get their friends to become members so they too can vote. But why is voting so important to me? Well, we humble parents finally get a vehicle to express our annoyance at how these big multinational companies market junk food to our children.
My friends and I often complain to each other about the underhanded marketing tactics that drive our children to pester us for a particular cereal or popular snack bar. But how often do we have the energy to research who to contact to say we don’t like it? And let’s be honest, how much of an impact will an individual complaint have?
This is why the awards are so important to me. Not only is it the collective voice of thousands of parents from across Australia telling these companies that we don’t agree with how they target our children but the awards play advertisers at their own game. They put the spotlight on the sneaky tactics used by these companies and get the topic of junk food marketing to children discussed in the media.
I also like the fact that the awards aren’t only about shaming those companies who promote junk to our children. The Fame & Shame Awards reward companies who promote healthy food to our children. Admittedly there aren’t as many of these, but they are there and The Parents’ Jury recognises them.
So, yes, every year I faithfully vote. I give my opinion and to be honest I feel a better person for it.
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