Friday, January 10, 2014

Hot Topics-Food Ads

I recently blogged about the marketing messages within movies (here)A new study looked at TV advertising.  Without much surprise, it found most food and drink ads were for products high in fats, sugar and sodium.  The fruit and veggie marketers, American Egg Board, and meat producers group aren't really advertising during prime time.  For food ads seen by kiddos ages 2-11, 84% were for unhealthy foods and during children's programming, it jumped to 95%. This is a lucrative market for products with a high profit margin.

Advertisers self regulated with the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative in November 2006, a voluntary program designed to change the mix of food advertised to children.  There are now 18 major companies that have signed on to this effort.  But there are two problems.  This only applies to advertising during children's programming and standards have been vague.  So, this has been mostly ineffective to date and new, more precise criteria have been proposed.

I'm not one at all to blame restaurants, food marketers or TVs  for our choices.  It is the parents who choose the restaurant and fill the grocery cart.  However, awareness of the subtle messages aimed at your children is important.  That includes the subtle messages of role modeling as well.

(Child Obesity, December 2013)

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