It looks as though Viacom
It seems like every company these days is worried about how closely brand equity and unhealthy eats are tied together, especially when it comes to the younger set. McDonald's
And then there's Kellogg
This is a good move for Viacom, because as they say on Wall Street, you can't fight the tape. The uproar over childhood obesity is in full force, and it will continue moving forward. Getting on the wagon, in this case, is nothing more than good business -- it's going to improve Nick's image in the minds of the movers and shakers in the watchdog world, and it will allow Viacom to pursue licensing opportunities sans pressure.
If Viacom can convince parents that the company is on their side, they'll be more than happy to buy their kids some Viacom-licensed goodies. The kids, of course, don't care about all of the hubbub -- they just want to extend the experience of the Nick brand into snack time. And make no mistake -- licensing is important not only to generate incremental revenues, but also to keep engaging the mindshare. Disney's
Viacom is obviously not doing this out of the goodness of its corporate heart, but it doesn't matter -- the fact that it is responding to the demand for healthier food products for children is something that shareholders should applaud. It should be noted that Nickelodeon apparently wants to reserve the right to a bit of leeway when it comes to marketing junky stuff on holidays such as Halloween, although critics will probably want to blast that little hedging tactic. And while I won't necessarily argue against such an inclination, I do believe Viacom is nevertheless headed in the right direction.
Tune in to these Foolish articles on Viacom:
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Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Disney. As of this writing, he was ranked 7,894 out of more than 60,000 investors in Motley Fool CAPS. Don't know what CAPS is? Check it out. The Fool has a disclosure policy.