People are mad that Shrek is in a childhood anti-obesity campaign

A children’s anti-commercial advocacy group is protesting Shrek’s inclusion in a government anti-obesity ad by the US Department of Health and Human Services. And it’s not because Shrek and Fiona aren’t great examples of a healthy lifestyle. There are tons of product placement ads in the Shrek movies, they say, and kids’ junk food like McDonald’s Happy Meals, Kellogg’s Froot Loops, Keebler Double Stuffed cookies, Cheetos and Shrek-branded Peanut Butter M&M’s predominate.

Health and Human Services is using Shrek in Public Service Announcements to encourage children to lead a healthy lifestyle. But a review by CCFC found sixteen separate food promotions for upcoming movie Shrek the Third featuring more than seventy different products, including McDonald’s Happy Meals, Kellogg’s Marshmallow Froot Loops cereal; Keebler E.L. FudgeDouble Stuffed cookies, “ogre-sized” Peanut Butter M&M’s, Cheetos, and Kellogg’s Frosted S’Mores Pop Tarts.

Please tell Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt to stop partnering with the poster ogre for junk food marketing – and start getting serious about combating childhood obesity by advocating for policies that protect children from commercial exploitation.

Here’s the Shrek Ad:

They have a point in that the Shrek movies are filled with candy and junk food, and Shrek’s face is plastered on M&Ms. On the other hand, kids love Shrek and might be slightly encouraged to exercise on the day they see that ad if it ever airs outside the standard 3 to 4 a.m. time slot reserved for PSAs.

As Filmwad mentions, that children’s anti-commercial advocacy group, Commercial Free Childhood, goes overboard in that they want bus drivers to stop listening to the radio so kids aren’t exposed to ads on the way to school. They also want to ban Bratz dolls from school fairs, which seems reasonable.

It does really seem hypocritical of the US government to hire Shrek for an anti-obesity campaign when he’s also a spokesperson for various candies. The government is usually hypocritical, though, so there’s nothing new there.

Story background from Filmwad via Digg.

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