The Centers for Disease Control launch a $125 million advertising and PR campaign to encourage children to be more physically active. In an apparent effort to counter the dramatic increase in childhood obesity, the CDC begins airing paid advertising on TV and radio aimed at 9-to-13-year-olds. According to Ad Age, CDC decided to focus specifically on increasing physical activity and to not address another factor that contributes to childhood obesity, diet. The Publicis Group's Saatchi & Saatchi created the 15-second spot. Ad Age reports Saatchi has prior experience in marketing to children, handling several General Mills brands like Fruit Roll Ups and Go-Gurt. Publicis' Frankel, who also works for McDonald's, will handle promotional activities. CDC will use sponsorship of television shows on Nickelodeon and MTV to promote its "positive lifestyle" campaign. Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that food and beverage companies, "fearing they may be held responsible for the nation's expanding waistiline, ... are going on the defensive" through PR gestures such as giving exercise equipment to schools, while simultaneously lobbying vigorously against tax measures and labeling that would discourage consumption of high-fat foods.
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