Start Date: April 2011

ID #: CAS005

Project Lead: Jerome Williams, PhD

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According to a 2008 Federal Trade Commission report, overall expenditures to promote foods and beverages to children and adolescents in the United States were more than $1.6 billion annually. Studies indicate that exposure to food advertising influences children’s attitudes, preferences, and food purchase requests toward foods with low nutritional value. It is therefore important for public health advocates and policy-makers to better understand the role of advertising as a factor in childhood obesity. This commissioned analysis examined the relationship between advertising expenditures at the brand level and the brands “most loved by kids” ages 6 to 12. The “Top 100 Kids’ Most Loved Brands” lists were compiled by Smarty Pants, a marketing research firm, in their “Young Love” surveys in 2009 and 2010. Advertising media variables were reported by brand for English- and Spanish-language media. Three broad categories of media expenditures were created: electronic advertising, magazine advertising, and other print advertising. Findings indicated that some brands jumped significantly in the rankings and other brands dropped precipitously. The project used regression analysis to examine a set of predictor ad expenditure variables and their impact on brands loved by kids. This study also examined the longitudinal relationship for two years (2009 and 2010) between brand advertising expenditures and brands loved by kids.

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