Today, President Obama is scheduled to sign the Child Nutrition Act into law. It is hard to argue with the law’s objectives–making certain that our kids have access to nutritious food while at school–although some on the political right likely will take issue with the move as a further intrusion of the government into the private lives of its citizens.
From a reputation management perspective, this latest news is likely to draw into sharper focus the ever-widening challenge to many companies: marketing to kids.
While the marketing to children issue has been something the quick-serve restaurant industry has lived with for some time, the recent San Francisco ban of McDonald’s Happy Meals as currently served has made the issue more top-of-mind. The topic continues to grow in interest among nutrition advocates and the mainstream news media.
So the Child Nutrition Act, along with the increased interest in the issue thanks to the Happy Meal ban, has the potential to create the perfect storm for companies and organizations that offer products and services that appeal to youth.
Before the storm gathers, companies likely to be affected would do well to make plans to meet the coming challenge. Corporate responsibility, communicated with transparency and credibility, will be the order of the day—before the storm grows any larger.