Hint: The poledancing bit is at the end, last paragraph.
When I spoke about the ‘fourth’ sector impacting Not For Profits, I was mostly talking about people coming together in an informal yet organised way. Informal because they may not take the time to register an Organisation or have a Memorandum of Intent or whatever those bloomin’ things are called. Put up a paypal donation button and ask for a few dollars to run the site (probably takes a couple of hundred dollars a year to manage). And they are organised because free software gives them blogs and forums and event calendars and polls and such to have a say. Get 10,000 or so members (average size for a private community) and they can hold sway over a political or social issue. Get real organisations behind the community and they can really hold sway.

Example: The Parents Jury is co-ordinated and administered by Diabetes Australia-Vic, The Cancer Council Australia and Australasian Society for the Study of Obesity, which together have a major interest in improving children’s nutrition and levels of physical activity, and reducing overweight and obesity in Australia. The increase of overweight and obesity is one of the biggest health threats facing Australian children. There is a section on Food Marketing which includes Letter Writing and Sample Letters:

Food Marketing to Kids

Our objective

The objective of The Parents Jury is to; More…

The facts

Find some interesting facts relating to food marketing to children. More…

Advocacy and action

There are many ways that you can become an advocate for junk food free children’s television … More…

Letter writing

Letter writing is a great way to express your concerns about junk food advertisements on television. More…

Sample letters

Read some of the letters that we have written to express our concerns relating to the marketing of junk food to children. More…

The regulators

Who regulates food advertising on commercial television? More…

What the regulations say

Find out more about Australian TV regulations. More…

How to lodge a complaint

Some suggestions on how to lodge a complaint about an advertisement. More…

2005 Children’s Television Advertising Awards

And the winners are… More…

2006 Children’s Television Food Advertising Awards

And the winners are… More…

Trial by Jury

It’s time for the food industry to clean up its act or be prepared to be put on trial by The Parents Jury. More…

Links

Check out some other useful websites containing information about food marketing to kids. More…

I thought of the Parent’s Jury when I saw this AdNews article (though the issues are stranger danger, not childhood obesity, one still wonders) :

McDonald’s ad ordered off air

SYDNEY: The Advertising Standards Board has ordered a McDonalds Happy Meal commercial be taken off air, after attracting the wrath of parents.

The animated TVC, created by DDB Sydney, featured two little girls climbing down a drain to recover a ring for a woman. While down the drain the girls have to do battle with a two-headed green monster, which is holding the woman’s ring. The woman then takes the girls to McDonald’s, promising them free Happy Meals for life.

The ASB said a number of people complained the ad encouraged children to engage in unsafe behaviour by climbing down drains and going off with strangers. Many complaints pointed out the fact the ad was contrary to everything children are taught about stranger danger.

This is exactly the sort of thing that people can whip up a website with community elements, in oh, about 40 minutes, and gain a following: Parent’s Jury definitely falls into that category of motivated, passionate, vocal. After all look at:

“Parents lash out at McDonald’s advertising. The golden arches win the Pester Power Award two years in a row” (October 2006) – 2 page release announcing the winning TV ads in the 2006 Awards. (84.7 KB)

I’m guessing they have bees in their collective bonnets about Maccas. And the press are starting to wake up to these empowered consumer groups much more in the last couple of years.

One final point – and I’m a bit mystified. From the same press release re: advertising standards:

Meanwhile, the board dismissed a complaint against Nando’s Restaurants commercial that features a woman pole dancing and discussing her cravings for Nando’s chicken. The ASB said the ad, which was made by CHE Melbourne, was not inappropriately suggestive.

“The Board did not find that the pole dancing was incompatible with family values. The ad also has an M classification, which means it can only be shown during programs recommended for persons over 15,” Jolly said.

I understand the classification but am interested in how many families out there participate in poledancing as part of their quality time together? Does wife/mother pole dance in the lounge room before or after preparing dinner? Do hubby and the kids take turns? Is lapdancing included in these wholesome expressions of familial love, in your household? Gosh, I think I need to start up a website called redhotmamapoledancers. Feel free to submit fotos!