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Home > Culture and Society

Throwing the Jowell in

5 March 2004

Our children are obese and health organisations have, as usual, jumped to all the wrong conclusions and laid the blame on completely the wrong people - they who advertise fatty foods.

Thank goodness, then, that Tessa Jowell has the common sense to stand up for the advertisers - for as they themselves have pointed out, there is no actual evidence that adverts have any effect on children anyway. No doubt they are generously giving up their time and money simply to ensure that children are entertained in the gaps between boring old cartoons.

In view of this, Tessa Jowell's plans to get advertisers to help by encouraging them to 'use their creative genius to promote healthy eating and exercise instead' seem quite reasonable.

Advertisers are just ordinary, well-intentioned people - once they have been alerted to the evils of fatty foods and sweets they will surely rally alongside health organisations to get the message out to children.

So we can probably expect the following developments over the next few months:

- Chocolate bar slogans will be rewritten to highlight the negative effects of eating them, for example 'a Mars a day makes you fat and ugly', or 'Lion - it's a bastard of a bar', or 'it's the air in the Aero that gives you wind and blocks your capillaries'.

- Instead of using Gary Lineker to give them a misleadingly sporty image, Walkers Crisps adverts will now feature Ricky Tomlinson and John Prescott.

- The names of chocolate bars will be changed to give more a accurate suggestion of their content; Rolos will become 'Cholesterolos', Kit Kat will become 'Kit Kalorie', and Cadbury's Mini Eggs will become 'Phenylethylamini Eggs'.

- The thin, anaemic-looking Milky Bar Kid will be replaced by a hideously fat boy with no friends; when he shouts 'Milky Bars are on me!' all the other children will kick him until he's sick.

- All packaging for fatty foods will carry health warnings, similar to those now found on cigarette packets, along the lines of 'chocolate increases the risk of heart disease', 'cake causes infertility and testicular cancer' and 'these crisps will kill you and your babies'.

- Children who eat too many sweets will be assumed to be potential terrorists and locked in concentration camps by David Blunkett.



Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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