Tom Harkin Knows How to Spend Your Marketing Dollars

Doesn't Quite Grasp That Whole Capitalism Thing

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In the ongoing debate about marketers spending their marketing money to target kids with ads for junk food, we learn this: "The nation's largest food and beverage companies spent about $1.6 billion in 2006 marketing their products — especially carbonated drinks — to children, according to a Federal Trade Commission report."

Which prompts this from Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa:
"This study confirms what I have been saying for years. Industry needs to step up to the plate and use their innovation and creativity to market healthy foods to our kids," Harkin said. "That $1.6 billion could be used to attract our kids to healthy snacks, tasty cereals, fruits and vegetables."
That's right, soda makers, you should be using your marketing dollars to advertise products that you don't even sell! Or possibly Harkin believes that that $1.6 billion appeared independently out of nowhere and is sitting out in the town square for the government to do with as it sees fit. Either way, it doesn't reflect well on his understanding of how business actually works.