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: Science Blog
Monday, July 13, 2015

A new study finds that kids have a tendency to eat more low-nutrition foods when they observe overweight cartoon characters. The researchers call for companies to be more responsible in their marketing, highlighting Kellogg's revamp of Tony the Tiger to be slimmer, but fail to address the issue of using cartoons in general to promote unhealthy food items. These kinds of studies could also present opportunities for advocates to discuss cultural norms around weight -- and weight stigma.

Source: CSPI
Friday, July 10, 2015

The Center for Science in the Public Interest sent a letter to NBCUniversal urging it to establish nutrition standards for the use of the company's characters in food and beverage marketing appealing to children. To date, the Minions have been used to sell Fruit Gushers, Fruit by the Foot, Cheese Nips, Pez, Tic Tacs, Jello and McDonald's Happy Meals -- all low-nutrition foods.

Source: Blue Mau Mau
Tuesday, July 7, 2015

With the new Despicable Me prequel debuting this weekend, McDonald's hopes to win over children around the globe. The multi-platform promotion includes Minion-inspired menu items, social media content, and a contest with prizes ranging from free McDonald's food items to trips to Universal or even $250,000.

Source: PR Newswire
Monday, July 6, 2015

Through their annual corporate social responsibility scholarship, Wendy's is trying to connect with scholar-athletes by offering financial awards and $10 gift cards to the first 1,000 students to submit applications.

Source: US Healthy Kids
Monday, July 6, 2015

More than three months after the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) set off a media firestorm by endorsing Kraft Singles processed cheese slices with its "Kids Eat Right" nutrition seal, news attention to the issue has waned. Although AND has said that it is in discussions to terminate its contract with Kraft, the product remains on store shelves, bearing the controversial label. Advocate Casey Hinds urges continued follow-up to keep pressure on the groups.

Source: Hispanic PR Blog
Thursday, July 2, 2015

Johnny Rockets is focusing on the growing market of Latino families and millennials with updated flavors and even changes to restaurant design. Research shows that Latinos tend to eat out in parties of four or more, so the restaurant plans to offer larger restaurant spaces for social gatherings.

Source: MediaPost
Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Mondelez International, Inc. appeals to values and uses the seasonal peg of Independence Day with its "This is Wholesome" campaign. The documentary-style ads tell the story of a Dominican-American family who have overcome adversity and are now celebrating Independence Day.

Source: PR Newswire
Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The convenience store is selling a new Sour Patch watermelon-flavored Slurpee, leveraging social media - and the hot days of summer - to promote the sugary new product to kids. "We know teens love Sour Patch Kids as well as Slurpee so this is the perfect collaboration," said a Mondel?z representative.

Source: Wall Street Journal
Thursday, June 25, 2015

Since sugary drinks were removed from the Happy Meal section on U.S. menu boards, there has been an 8% decline in the number of customers selecting sodas with their Happy Meals. It's a hard-fought victory for advocates working to reduce unhealthy food marketing to children.

Source: MarketWatch
Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Kellogg has created the website RockTheFlavor.com to blend teens' interest in music with the Pop-Tarts brand. In this promotion, young consumers provide their personal information to log-in and vote for their favorite flavor, or as Kellogg markets it, "best new artist." Teens can win prizes such as a year's supply of the sugary pastries.

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