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Maybe real stars should plug veggies

<p>Nickelodeon is expanding its promotional branding of fruits and vegetable packaging, according to a USA Today story, licensing the likeness of Spongebob Squarepants and Dora The Explorer to appear on packages of apples, pears, cherries and edamame (soybeans).</p>


TASTY CELERY, NOW WITH 50 PER CENT MORE OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE TALKING SPONGE: Nickelodeon is expanding its promotional branding of fruits and vegetable packaging, according to a USA Today story, licensing the likeness of Spongebob Squarepants and Dora The Explorer to appear on packages of apples, pears, cherries and edamame (soybeans).


Nickelodeon began placing likenesses of their popular kids’ cartoon characters on bags of carrots and Clementine oranges a year ago, joining Disney and Sesame Street in a move to link their trademarked characters with healthy snacks.


“My goal is to have every fruit a kid would want to eat with a Nickelodeon character,” said Sherice Torres, Nickelodeon’s licensing VP.


“We’re trying to see how many places we can use our characters to encourage kids to eat more fruits and vegetables.”


Skeptics say the companies are just trying to head off litigation from much more lucrative junk food licensing deals, but hey — let’s give Nickelodeon the benefit of the doubt. And since adult obesity is as much, if not more, of a health crisis than chubby kids, there’s no reason why NASCAR can’t put Dale Earnhardt Jr. on bags of high-fibre cabbage, or the NBA can’t license Yao Ming’s likeness for packages of calcium-rich kale. And since Paramount, like Nickelodeon, is a Viacom company, what’s stopping them from putting MI:3 star Tom Cruise on shrink-wrapped cucumbers? Tom Cruise cucumbers — who wouldn’t buy those?



DECLINE AND FALL OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE: British broadcaster Channel 4 has plans to air a program called Wank-a-thon, according to a story on the website of the Sun, a U.K. tabloid.


“Wank-a-thon will follow hundreds of men and women,” read the piece, “as they pleasure themselves in a hall in central London on Aug. 5.”


The show has drawn the ire of Mediawatch U.K., who have called for government action against the station.


“C4 is a public-service broadcaster though it is funded by adverts and I think it could be breaking its licence agreement with the government,” said Mediawatch director John Beyer. “Advertisers should withdraw their funding and force C4 to drop the program.”


The network plans to air the show as part of a trilogy of programs featured in what they’ve dubbed “Wank Week,” and they defend the show as “provocative, mischievous programming, exactly the sort of thing that C4 should be screening at 11 p.m.,” according to C4 executive Andrew McKenzie. “It follows on from Penis Week which was extremely successful.”


You know, sometimes there’s just no point trying to think up a sarcastic punchline to end a story. Have a nice weekend.



rick.mcginnis@metronews.ca

 
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