Eye On Marketers

Marketing has a profound affect on the foods we eat and the beverages we drink, yet most of that marketing is for products we should avoid. BMSG monitors the media to help keep advocates informed of the tactics food and beverage companies use to target children, communities of color, and other groups that are particularly susceptible to the health harms these products cause. Below are archives of our monitoring. We will resume posting to this page in early 2017.
Source: The Atlantic
Friday, August 14, 2015

This blog post highlights last week's findings from the Rudd Center's report on the food industry's targeting of black and Latino kids. The blog also highlights the connections between the Rudd Center's findings and recent efforts to pass soda taxes and other measures to reduce consumption of junk food. Blog author Brentin Mock speculates that "...as cities take a more serious look at this, corporations may find this a tougher problem to advertise their way out of. As the tobacco industry learned."

Source: HNGN
Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A report on target marketing from the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, African American Collaborative Obesity Research and Salud America! is making headlines. Among its findings, the report revealed that black and Latino kids are exposed to more ads for candy, sugary drinks and snacks than their white peers. "This is a clear case of tactics that must be profitable from the business perspective but at the cost of fostering an environment that promotes poor health in black and Hispanic youth in particular," said AACORN's Shiriki Kumanyika in a news release.

Source: Dallas Business Journal
Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sports drink advertising is notorious for aggressively targeting young men, especially young men of color - and now the Dr Pepper Snapple Group has joined Coca Cola and PepsiCo in making inroads with this lucrative market. The company just purchased a significant stake in a sports drink startup whose investors include Kobe Bryant.

Source: QSR Magazine
Tuesday, August 11, 2015

A survey conducted by the cookie company found that the vast majority of parents "incentivize their children with treats," and in an effort to capitalize on this phenomenon (which is itself driven by aggressive junk food marketing to children), the company is launching "National Bribe Your Child Week" - "Your child's next reward is on us. We hope parents will stop by Great American Cookies and reward their children for good behavior with a delicious chocolate chip cookie-for free!"

Source: MediaPost
Thursday, August 6, 2015

The new Juicy Juice website features "lots of activities for kids" and "videos of cute kids doing testimonials" for the brand's products. The brand has also launched new juice pouches with added water (and therefore less sugar), possibly reflecting pressure to market healthier products.

Source: Al Jazeera
Wednesday, August 5, 2015

In this Al Jazeera article, Anne Lappé draws alcohol industry and Big Tobacco comparisons to sugary drink marketing tactics. Launched earlier this year, Mixify is an American Beverage Association campaign targeting youth that promotes balance in what you "eat, drink and do." Big Soda tries to sound hip in its messages, and is promoting the campaign through social media and free events for teens across the country this summer, but this targeting is troubling as the campaign gets youth to market for the ABA and heavily markets to youth of color. 

Source: Hispanic PR Blog
Monday, August 3, 2015

Marketing to Latinos continues to outpace overall ad growth in the U.S. PepsiCo and Coca-Cola Co. are once again big spenders, both increasing ads targeting this community of colour. PepsiCo spent $46.7 million, while Coca-Cola Co. put $38.4 million into the Latino market.

Source: CSR Wire
Monday, August 3, 2015

In this corporate social responsibility promotion, the fast food brand is asking customers to donate to Arby's Foundation. Funds are being used to provide kids with free lunches, but what the company doesn't speak to is the nutritional value of the meals and the underlying motive to create brand loyalty with this young and vulnerable population. 

Source: Mamavation
Sunday, August 2, 2015

In this blog, Anna Lappé uses visuals and social math to expose some of the tactics, such as branded report card jackets and partnerships between education and candy companies, marketers use to undermine parents and push unhealthy products on kids.

Source: NEA Healthy Futures
Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Lainie Morgan at NEA Healthy Futures discusses some of the harmful effects of and strategies behind unhealthy food and beverage television marketing to kids, including the deceit involved in marketing to young children who might not be able to differentiate an ad from a television show. Morgan zeroes in on what adults can do to limit a child's exposure to unhealthy marketing, but misses an opportunity to discuss the need to change food marketing practices themselves.

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