Yes, I turned this in. I was on a deadline. Another “masterpiece” from the late ’80s.
It really goes without saying that if, as is the clear implication, the younger sibling could beat his or her elder at the competition of the day just because he or she took the time to munch down a bowl of Tony’s Frosted Flakes (“They’re great!”), not only would media watchdogs be much less concerned about the impact of breakfast cereal commercials aimed at kids, but the sales of Frosted Flakes would skyrocket. Sadly, neither of these events are likely to occur soon, for the premise upon which they are built is nearly as shaky as the dollar’s value in relation to the yen.
In other words, great deception is being used to push these foods on kids—a great deception because kids are unable to distinguish between fiction and reality to the degree necessary. Kids are also encouraged, for example, to “Come to the Honeycomb Hideout” with the clear vision offered being that of a secret society of which it’s “cool” to be a part. All the kids have to do is get Mom or Dad to run down to the store and buy that Honeycomb (making sure to tell them that, by gosh, it’s real food, fortified with 8 essential minerals and vitamins).
Unfortunately, as many adults will agree, a bowl of sugared cornflakes rarely gives one that extra edge to beat a normally superior opponent, and likewise, the only people likely to think eating “Honeycomb” makes you “cool” are Post employees and stockholders. (Dentists are said to have mixed feelings.)
Kids, hardly the most discriminating of audiences, need protection from these deceptive ads. (What, pray tell, is a “Golden Grahams day”?) Congress should enact some form of legislation to make General Mills, Post, etc. present advertising in a manner which does not glorify what is really junk food in milk. Realistically, the only other alternative is a ban on the advertisements altogether, something which I’d have a harder time supporting. Still, I probably would, as something must be done.
Indeed, the most truthful description of a kids’ breakfast cereal is a fictional one presented in the comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes.” Calvin’s favorite morning cereal is called “Chocolate-Coated Sugar Bombs.” It’s time for some similar truth in advertising on the part of real breakfast food companies.