Better Living Through Chemistry (Except for the Poor Kids)

The American Chemistry Council (ACC), which received bad press last year for funding an Environmental Protection Agency study that would have exposed children to pesticides and household chemicals, launched a "major public education campaign" called "essential2." The two-year, $35 million campaign will stress "how central chemistry is t


The Education Department's Paid Apple Polishers

An "angry op-ed" in the Dallas Morning News claimed the city's school system was "limiting the future and opportunities for our children" by not enacting policies mandated under the federal No Child Left Behind law more quickly.


ABA's School Vending Policy Fizzes On Obesity Prevention

American Beverage Association logoThe American Beverage Association scored PR points recently when they unveiled a new voluntary "school vending policy." The trade association for soft drink manufacturers says it is encouraging beverage producers and school districts to provide "lower-calorie and/or nutritious beverages" to schools and limit the availability of soft drinks in schools. ABA's announcement snagged positive news stories across the country, but public health advocates questioned the group's commitment to preventing childhood obesity.

Uncle Sam Wants Your Parents

Last month we noted that one of the obstacles facing U.S. military recruiters is "parents who are reluctant to see their kids enlist." Now the army is responding with an advertising campaign targeting parents directly with the slogan, "help them find their strength." Seth Stevenson analyzes the ads and their new slogan, in which "The Army has at last been repositioned as a finishing school.


Voluntary Soda Jerks as PR

"The first salvo in a broader public-relations counterattack by beverage companies to help the industry reverse its tarnished image" is voluntary restrictions on drink sales in schools. The guidelines, which will be touted "in full-page ads in several national newspapers," suggest that new school contracts remove carbonated soft drinks from elementary schools and remove sugary drinks from middle schools during school hours. All beverages will continue to be sold in high schools.


Government Abandons Children to Big Food

"With rising rates of childhood obesity and diabetes, you might think that when the federal government convenes a meeting on how food companies market food to kids, talk of how to regulate industry practices might actually be on the agenda. But you'd be wrong," writes Michele Simon. Last week's government conference on food marketing to kids was dominated by the companies themselves.


Coke's Sweet Intentions

"Coca-Cola will work with Weber Shandwick this fall to promote its new, seemingly selfless, Live It children's fitness campaign in schools across the country." The PR firm will "focus on generating local publicity for schools that participate in the week-long program." Kirsten Witt, Coke's "nutrition communication manager," said the $4 million Live It campaign would not address childhood obesity or encourage students to dri



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