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Viacom and Kellogg Face Lawsuit over SpongeBob Marketing

Two consumer groups have announced their intention to sue Viacom, parent company of Nickelodeon, and the Kellogg Company over their use of SpongeBob SquarePants and other cartoon characters to sell food of “poor nutritional quality” to children under 8 (registration required). The Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, and two parents are suing under Massachusetts’ aggressive consumer protection laws, which also mandate giving 30-days notice before suing.

A Viacom spokesman claimed criticisms over the use of cartoon characters like SpongeBob and Dora the Explorer were unfounded because of efforts the company has made to promote healthier eating habits.

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