The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has sent a July 18, 2012, letter to the chief executive officer of DreamWorks Animation SKG, criticizing the studio’s decision to license its popular film characters to food companies. Focusing on the recent film Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, the consumer group cited tie-ins “with multiple companies and retailers” that allegedly market food products to children, but singled out DreamWorks’ partnership with Snyder’s-Lance, Inc. as particularly problematic because the snack manufacturer is not currently a member of the Council of Better Business Bureaus’ Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI).
“DreamWorks characters from Madagascar 3 are depicted on the packages of Nekot Cookies and Sandwich Crackers, which are of poor nutritional value,” alleges CSPI, which has also called on Snyder’s-Lance to apply nutrition standards “to 100% of the company’s marketing, not only via television, print, radio, Internet, and mobile devices, but also through packaging, in-store signage, in K through 12 schools, and all other forms of marketing directed at children.”
CSPI has urged both DreamWorks and Snyder’s-Lance to join CFBAI and “establish nutrition standards for your marketing to children.” As the consumer group’s letter to DreamWorks concludes, “We hope that characters from upcoming DreamWorks films… will only be used to market foods that meet nutrition standards. We also hope that you will ensure that unhealthy foods are not marketed in the theme park you are developing with Triple Five and that a wide variety of reasonably priced healthy options will be offered in the park.”