Soda marketing still aimed at teens and kids
Marketing to young people through television and web ads may have dropped off in recent yearss, but soft drink companies are still targeting teens and children six to 11 years old through product placement and social media sites, mainly Facebook and Twitter. That's the conclusion of a new report from the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity,
Under a voluntary program called the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, major soda companies are not supposed to advertise beverages other than juice, water or milk-based drinks to any audience comprised predominantly of children under 12. But the Yale researchers said beverage companies continued to reach young people through sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as mobile apps, and that much of that marketing promoted unhealthy products.
"They're trying to talk about offering healthier choices and low sugar products," said Jennifer Harris, lead author of the report. "But if they keep mrketing their high-sugar products to children and teens, they can't say they are being part of the solution."
The report noted, for instance, that both teens and six-to 11-year-olds have been seeing more ads for Red Bull.
The research was based on Nielsen data on advertising exposure from 2013 and was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.