Chuck E. Cheese is back in the news but this time it has nothing to do with how adults handle themselves at some CEC locations but with how the company does it marketing. The US Federal Trade Commission has sent subpoenas to 48 companies in regards to how they market to kids and once again the arcade/food chain Chuck E. Cheese is among those in their sights. At the moment there isn’t anything that can really be done to the companies in a legal manner but the FTC is trying as hard as it can to limit advertising to children, giving them “special protection” beyond the laws on the books that already prohibit advertising certain substances to them. As a father of two young children I can understand the desire to limit the exposure of certain products to kids but I also understand concepts like educating your kids, talking to them and being able to say no if they want something bad for them. It’s really not that difficult. If my kid wanted to go to CEC where a “kid can be a kid” because of an ad he saw then I would have no problem with that as I have no problem with CEC. If some other parent has an issue then they have a choice to not take their kids there and go somewhere else. What a mind-grenade!
Here’s one of those ads that makes the suits at the FTC frown – I’d really like to know how any bureaucrat who finds this sort of stuff bad for kids expects CEC to stay in business by not marketing to their target market. It’s a business made for kids to have fun and have some pizza while doing it. Last I checked, neither pizza nor fun is illegal in the US and I fail to see anything taking advantage of children in any of CEC’s ads to warrant a subpoena – we’re not talking even in the same category as cigarettes or booze here.Here’s one that’s been on PBS, as CEC sponsors PBS Kids on a regular basis. They have another ad like this(but I can’t find an example online) where it doesn’t even show food or arcades, just tells kids to get outside and play. Oh the humanity! /sarcSource: Advertising Age