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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

How Marketing Has an Impact on Children’s Health

Related article

Best and Worst of Food Marketing to Our Children (Food, Facts, and Fads)

 

FTC Updates Report on Food Marketing to Children

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently released a report entitled, “A Review of Food Marketing to Children and Adolescents,” which shows that food and beverage companies spent less in marketing targeted to children in 2009 than they did in 2006, and the food and beverages marketed to youth had very small improvements in nutritional quality during that period. Food companies spent $1.8 billion to advertise to children age 2 to 17 in 2009, down from $2.1 billion in 2006.

The report was an update to the FTC’s 2008 report, “Marketing Food to Children and Adolescents: A Review of Industry Expenditures, Activities, and Self-Regulation,” which documented the amount food companies spent on marketing targeted to youth in 2006.

The reduction can be attributed to a decline in advertising on traditional media such as TV, radio, and print; however, food companies increased their youth-targeted spending on other forms of marketing, including websites, internet advertising, viral/word-of-mouth marketing, product placements, movie and video ads, cross-promotion licenses, celebrity endorsements, events, and philanthropy. In addition, spending on food marketing to tweens and teens increased from 2006 to 2009.

“While there’s been progress in advertising to children age 2 to 11 on traditional media, children continue to see too many ads for products of questionable nutritional quality,” said Jennifer Harris, PhD, MBA, Rudd Center Director of Marketing Initiatives. “Companies have also shifted much of their spending toward a somewhat older child audience, including 12- to 14-year-olds, and into newer forms of marketing.”

“Industry has faced public and legal pressure as well as pressure from health experts to improve their practices,” said Kelly Brownell, PhD, Rudd Center Director. “The voluntary changes they made are only modest and they have stepped up marketing in some arenas. The pressure on industry to do more must continue.”

The FTC’s report was conducted as part of a Congressional inquiry into rising childhood obesity rates and aims to help public health experts, parents, and lawmakers understand the extent of food marketing to children.

 

Food Marketing to Youth: The Best and the Worst of 2012

Only $11.4 million was spent on marketing fruits and vegetables to youth in 2006, representing less than 1 percent of the $2 billion spent on all food marketing to youth, according to the National Fruit & Vegetable Alliance and Federal Trade Commission. Food and beverage companies use traditional forms of marketing, such as television advertising and promotions on product packages, but companies are increasingly using more unique and invasive techniques. The Rudd Center compiled a collection of thebest and worst examples of food marketing practices in 2012, including McDonald’s and Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of the Summer Olympic Games (worst) and Disney restricting junk food advertising to children (best).

 

Million Ideas

Lots of us hate to admit it, but marketing has a huge impact on what we buy, eat, and how we live our lives. While marketing and advertising affects all of us, children are especially impressionable. A good advertiser knows what will stick with kids, and they use every trick in the book. The junk food industry is no exception, and marketers understand that getting their message to children leads to big business. To show just how much of an impact marketing has on our children’s health, we reached out to teach.com and USC Rossier Online and borrowed their infographic, “Targeting Children With Treats.”

A huge thanks to Teach.com and USC Rossier Online for sharing the infographic!

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December 22, 2012 - Posted by | Consumer Health | , , ,

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