Under The Walt Disney Company's new rules and policy to help fight childhood obesity, TV commercials will have to comply with stricter nutritional standards for Disney to consider them for any of its platforms. The biggest problem products Disney will no longer allow advertisements for include carbonated drinks, fast food and certain cereals.
"The emotional connection kids have to our characters and stories give us a unique opportunity to continue to inspire and encourage them to lead healthier lives," says Robert A. Iger, chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company in a statement.
The decision will negatively impact Disney's ad revenues over the short term but will enhance the company's already solid reputation as a safe and trusted brand for children as well as their parents.
While The Disney Channel (DStv 303) in South Africa as well as in America don't accept and run TV commercials in the traditional sense of the word, promotions and sponsorships do take place, and commercials are included in other channels and programming such as Disney XD and Disney Junior.
I asked The Walt Disney Company Africa today what the plans and implications of this Disney move is, and means, for South Africa specifically and whether South Africa will follow.
"This is the next step in Disney's healthy foods initiatives - which range from overall food policies to healthy food partnerships. Today's announcement addresses the US market and Disney will be adapting this to other markets and South Africa in due course," says Disney.