When the bakery division of an international grocer, Saputo, recently attempted to market ‘Igor’—a muffin Gorilla curriculum complete with posters, nutrition booklet, original music CD and of course samples and coupons for the kids, the company drew heat from Quebec’s consumers union (Union des Consommateurs) and an anti-obesity group. The union blew the whistle at the campaign aimed at day care centres, claiming Igor contravened Quebec’s Consumer Protection Act, “which forbids advertising to children under 13.” 
Commercials aimed at kids have been around since before Barbie met Ken, and parents are right to be concerned. But just how legislation banning advertising aimed at certain age groups actually helps is not clear. It’s likely that with or without legislation, parents need to be more involved in directing the media traffic in their children’s lives as the commercial culture is indeed growing, alongside the evidence that too much media can harm young kids. 
In face of this, some countries are attempting to cut off the commercial activity aimed at kids at the source. In 1996 Sweden banned advertising to children under 12, Norway followed suit in 2001. Greece bans television advertising of toys between 7 am and 10 pm.  Closer to home, the Quebec government passed the Consumer Protection Act in the 1980s. 
On the industry self-regulating side, there are three industry bodies in Canada that monitor and restrict advertising to children. The Broadcast Code for Advertising to Children reviews advertising targeting children. Created in 1971, the code was initially voluntary but now the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) requires adherence as a condition for licensing. There are a series of restrictions; it forbids marketing products toward children that are not meant to be used by children, as well as marketing drugs or drug related products to kids, with the exception of kids’ toothpastes. But at the same time it also recognizes “it remains the primary responsibility of parents "to instruct a child in the way that he/she should go".” 
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has self imposed rules restricting advertisements during certain programs for the purpose of limiting viewing of harmful advertisements by kids. And the Canadian Marketing Association’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice restricts weekday morning advertising directed at pre-schoolers. 
Yet it remains difficult to assess how limiting commercial activity helps—when it may be that television itself is the first problem: A 2001 study published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioural Pediatrics found that a general reduction in television viewing in grade three and four led to a 70% reduction in toy purchase requests. 
And a U.S. Census Bureau study in 2003 showed that children from married parent families were more likely to have established rules regarding television viewing, spend more time reading with parents and share more meals together that other family forms.  While this doesn’t eliminate advertising it reduces the time spent engaged in unfiltered television time and increases family time: things like sharing meals together.