Food and beverage companies spend billions each year to target kids with mostly unhealthy products. Referencing a BMSG report on target marketing, the chief of staff of the Philadelphia Department of Public Health shows how pervasive the issue is, especially in communities of color, which are disproportionately targeted with ads for junk food.
The bars have surpassed sales estimates by 150 percent. BMSG and the Center for Science in the Public Interest have urged Nestle to stop marketing unhealthy foods featuring the Girl Scout's name and logo, saying that doing so violates the company's pledge to avoid marketing to children.
The public health groups, along with Center for Digital Democracy, Children Now, Prevention Institute, and Voices for America's Children, have taken out a full-page "wanted" ad in The Hollywood Reporter, calling on Nickelodeon to stop marketing junk food to kids. A new report shows that 70 percent of food ads on Nickelodeon are for unhealthy products.
The documents show how the sugary industry manipulated science and the media in an effort to influence public opinion and silence critics. The tactics, says BMSG's Andrew Cheyne in a video accompanying this article, mirror those of other industries that "put profits before health."
In conversation with Registered Dietitian Melinda Hemmelgarn, BMSG Director Lori Dorfman explains how food marketers use message framing and our new digital landscape to influence our food choices and infiltrate our lives. Dorfman draws upon her ongoing research which examines media portrayals of public health issues, including food and beverage marketing, breastfeeding and children’s health.