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.
Source: FoodBev.com
Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A new promotion from Pizza Hut requires customers to download an app to capture an image of the pizza box, which then unlocks additional content in the Xbox Forza 5 Motorsport game. As research shows that young boys and teens are prime gaming audiences, they may be the targets of this promotion.

Source: FoodNavigator-usa.com
Friday, December 13, 2013

A quote from one of the marketing executives behind the campaign demonstrates how feel-good promotions play into larger corporate strategies: "The Built with Chocolate Milk campaign gives the industry the opportunity to build a legacy product that extends milk's brand and nutritional equality for years to come, and also builds momentum in other industry areas, such as the defense of chocolate milk in schools."

Source: Progressive Grocer
Friday, December 13, 2013

The social media campaign urges users to make holiday music with empty Bud bottles and encourages customers to upload videos of themselves making music using Budweiser bottles. The company plans to feature the videos in a compilation that will air on the Times Square Billboard.

Source: U.S. News & World Report
Thursday, December 12, 2013

This blog post from Chef Ann Cooper highlights the new "greenwashing" tactics that companies like McDonald's use to make their food, and the practices that produce it, appear healthy and "natural." "It's safe to say that most fast-food chains are making their profits at the cost of our children's health," says Cooper.

Source: BuzzFlash
Thursday, December 12, 2013

In this blog post, writer Jim Hightower pulls back the curtain on Coke's "Cap the Tap" program, which provides a guide for restaurant managers to upsell Coke products in lieu of water. He argues that the program, in conjunction with Coke's other efforts to circumvent science that would prove the health harms of their products, represent "sneak attack[s] on consumers" that directly contradict the company's recently stated interest in addressing rising obesity rates.

Source: FoodNavigator.com
Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Scottish government announced earlier this year that it planned to develop food marketing guidelines, with the participation of the food industry, in order to cut consumption of food high in fat, salt and sugar. However, food industry participants withdrew from discussions, effectively shelving the project. The food industry argued that it was already doing enough to "encourage balanced diets," including reformulating and labeling products and educating consumers.

Source: McDonald's
Monday, December 9, 2013

The competition features 12 DJs from across the United States who compete for $10,000. Each region of the country is represented by one of McDonald's Quarter Pounder burgers. McDonald's uses the competition to market to young people and encourages them to vote online for their favorite DJ.

Source: PR Newswire
Monday, December 9, 2013

The beer company continues to reach out to Latinos through soccer, this by commissioning an artist to create a piece of art in real time during the "Final Draw" for the 2014 World Cup. At the center of the piece is a prominent rendering of the Budweiser logo. The piece was created in Washington, D.C. at the home of the Brazilian ambassador.

Source: EcoLiving
Monday, December 9, 2013

Food & Water Watch released a report and a series of infographics highlighting the extent to which food purchases are all controlled by a few monolithic players. The report argues that food companies don't want people to know about the monopolies behind many food products, since that would undermine their marketing strategies: "They want you to think you have a choice, so they can offer false deals and other psychological tricks to make you spend more money."

Source: Advertising Age
Friday, December 6, 2013

Pop Secret created Pop Dongle, a mobile phone attachment that smells like popcorn and is now being tested in the market. The attachment is supposed to be used by consumers while they play the branded mobile game Poptopia: When players pop virtual kernels in the game, the Pop Dongle releases a popcorn scent.

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