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.
Source: Fooducate
Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Kids cereals have the highest rates of artificial colors. This is why GM will start with Trix and Reese's Puffs in its product reformulation, eliminating artificial colors and flavors to position itself on the side of health. And while removing artificial flavors is a good step, as the author of this Fooducate points out, to move beyond a symbolic health halo, the company should also reduce the sugar in its products.

Source: Hispanic PR Blog
Thursday, June 18, 2015

The restaurant industry has cut English ad spending to aggressively market to Latino consumers. In 2014 alone, restaurants increased aggregate advertising to this segment by 68 percent to $559 million. Big players with this marketing strategy include fast food such as Yum! Brands (including McDonald's) and Whataburger.

Source: PR Newswire
Tuesday, June 16, 2015

In an effort to target African Americans, the Big Food brand hopes to celebrate "lovin' with its customers" through a competition showcasing aspiring filmmakers. This competition is part of McDonald's 365Black, an initiative aimed at supporting black community and culture year round, but which has been heavily criticized for its racial target marketing.

Source: Salud America!
Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Taco Bell has hired young employees and implemented a teen advisory board to learn about the latest teen culture. Latino youth are expected to account for 35% of the age group by 2050, so the Big Food brand has turned to social media to better target and communicate with this growing audience.

Source: PR Newswire
Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Denny's has joined together with DreamWorks Animation to promote their "Kids Eat Free" program to Latino families. The company says, "Denny's is a family-focused diner because, like our Latino clientele, we know the importance of sharing a meal together as a family." With this promotion, the restaurant has also created a Spanish Facebook page for families to share memories of family dining at Denny's.

Source: Adweek
Monday, June 8, 2015

Pop-Tarts have stayed popular for 50+ years by aggressively targeting adolescents. Recently the Kellogg brand has turned to social media to communicate and get feedback about product flavors. The company has also adapted promotions removing the retro Milton, the talking toaster as "teens will turn away from anything that reminds them of their parents."

Source: U.S. News
Friday, June 5, 2015

Despite voluntary industry pledges to focus more advertising dollars on healthy foods, research shows that kids are still exposed primarily to marketing for the least healthy foods. This finding sheds light on the limits of industry self-regulation. 

Source: Deseret News
Monday, June 1, 2015

This article not only describes the problem of junk food advertising to kids and its impact on health, but also points at responsible actors and solutions: "The Institute of Medicine has already spoken...It asked the food industry to reverse the predominance of food advertising on its own. If it doesn't reverse it in the immediate future, Congress should adopt legislation to achieve that shift."

Source: MediaPost
Monday, June 1, 2015

To attract kids, Subway is now airing a new 30-second spot featuring "Inside Out" characters. This promotion also includes movie-branded "Fresh Fit for Kids" bags, toys, in-store promotional materials and content on the Subway kids' app. 

Source: Battle Creek Enquirer
Thursday, May 28, 2015

Salud America! recently sent Kellogg over 23,000 letters from individuals across the nation urging the brand to stop targeting Latinos with sugar-laden foods. Following the letter-writing campaign, the Institute for Health Promotion Research (which leads the RWJF-funded Salud America! research network) leverages local media to further pressure the company and garner support for its efforts to end Latino childhood obesity.

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