State consumer protection laws have yet to fully catch up with advances in digital marketing. This report focuses on how existing state consumer protection law can be used to limit harmful digital marketing to children and adolescents. The report describes the key differences between digital and traditional food marketing and discusses a variety of digital food marketing tactics used by the food and beverage industry, such as food packaging, mobile applications (“apps”), Facebook advertising, location-based tactics, incentive-based interactive marketing, and gaming. It also highlights the role states can play to address privacy concerns raised by digital marketing and provides a digital marketing legal profile of laws and regulations for 10 states that go beyond general prohibitions on unfair and deceptive trade practices that may be used to address digital food marketing techniques targeting children and adolescents.
State Law Approaches to Addressing Digital Food Marketing to Youth
This legal issue brief focuses on “viral” or “word-of-mouth” marketing. Viral marketing campaigns are designed to mask their commercial origin, which raises multiple issues related to protecting consumers, especially young children. These campaigns are used to drive traffic to a firm’s website, Facebook page, or online marketing application. The brief … More
Analyzing the Legal Authority of State Attorneys General to Limit Unfair and Deceptive Digital Food Marketing to Children
Food marketing that employs computers and mobile devices to engage young people has exploded in recent years and can directly target and geo-locate children, often without parental knowledge. State Attorneys General (AGs) have authority to protect the public from Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices (UDAP). Digital marketing that bypasses … More
The healthfulness of foods and beverages found in retail food stores differs widely across the United States, both by location of the store as well as by store type. Some communities have limited access to stores that carry healthful staple foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grain-rich foods, and … More