Hey, Critics of the Happy Meal Toy Ban: Banning Fast Food Advertising Does Work
|Still from a Burger King ad|
But a study published not long ago in the Journal of Marketing Research suggests a full-on ban on advertising would be even more effective. Researchers Tirtha Dhar and Kathy Baylis looked at fast-food consumption in Quebec from 1986 to 1992, a period when the provincial government banned fast-food advertising.
And that's just in a relatively tiny, linguistically isolated market. Considering that the food industry spent $2.6 million in 2006 alone advertising to kids, a lot of kids would be eating a lot less hamburgers if the United States were able (ha!) to pass similar legislation. Will the industry's voluntary ban work? SFoodie suspects companies will find a thousand creative ways to flout its rules. San Francisco's botched toy ban might have been ineffective -- but it's not as ludicrous as its critics suggested.