to pay rap artists to mention the Big Mac sandwich in their songs as a marketing
strategy has come under fire by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood,
formerly Stop Commercial Exploitation of Children.
CCFC is a national
coalition of health care professionals, educators, advocacy groups and concerned
parents that work to counter harmful effects of marketing to children.
According to the
CCFC, obesity rates are highest among African-Americans and that the rates in
the African-American community are rising.
Dr. Susan Linn,
CCFC co-founder and author of the book Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover
of Childhood blasted the campaign.
terribly unfair, Dr. Linn told AllHipHop.com. Its hard
enough to distinguish between ads and content, but to have these adversongs
turn up in songs that are being marketed and sold to pre-teens is horrible.
Listeners wont know the rappers are being paid to push Big Macs.
The CCFC cited
an April report issued by the New England Journal of Medicine that revealed
that obesity-related illnesses may cause a generation of children to have shorter
life spans than their parents.
undermines McDonalds claim that they are serious about combating childhood
obesity, added psychiatrist Alvin F. Poussaint, of the Judge Baker Childrens
Center and Harvard Medical School. Even as McDonalds is drawing
praise for pushing salads and apples, they are finding new ways to market high
calorie standbys like the Big Mac to children.
In March of 2005,
McDonald's announced it would pay rappers $1-$5 every time their song mentioning
the sandwich gets played on the radio.
According to a
report issued by Crains AdAge.com today (Sept. 26), McDonald's plan has
stalled because the corporation cannot find suitable lyrics.
A spokesman for
McDonald's denied earlier criticism by the CCFC in the AdAge report, saying
"This is where brand relevance has gone and we have great confidence that
the consumer understands this We believe that the McDonald's brand is
so omnipresent already in America that having it in music, having it in TV,
having it in movies, is no more intrusive than anything else children experience
Dr. Linn acknowledged
the report that was issued today and refuted McDonalds statement.
Rap is the
most popular genre among preteens, Linn continued. Its
a terrible exploitation, especially in an art form that started out being so
positive in so many ways. Its like moving one toxic waste dump from one
neighborhood to another one."
For more information on the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood visit http://www.commercialfreechildhood.org/