Start Date: November 2010

ID #: 68240

Principal Investigator: Lori Dorfman, DrPH, MPH

Organization: Public Health Institute

Funding Round: Round 5

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The sugar-sweetened beverage (SSB) industry is increasingly using corporate social responsibility campaigns—particularly cause marketing appeals via social media—to reach young people. The purpose of this study is to assess how the current cause marketing and corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaigns of the SSB industry compare to the strategies articulated and practiced by the tobacco industry. The project includes content analysis of the SSB industry’s social media and CSR campaigns, public relations materials issued to support them, financial and regulatory statements detailing the campaigns, and news and trade press coverage of these actions. Investigators will examine: tobacco industry documents that discuss the industry’s CSR strategies; the SSB and tobacco industry’s corporate and shareholders’ reports and their respective regulatory filings; current CSR campaigns using social media from SSB industry leaders Coca-Cola and Pepsi; trade press coverage of these campaigns; and a nationally representative sample of the news coverage pertaining to the SSB industry’s social media cause marketing and CSR campaigns. The main outcome of this research will be: 1) a comprehensive case study of recent SSB industry CSR and cause marketing campaigns; 2) a systematic review of the nature and extent of linkages between the SSB and the tobacco industry’s CSR strategies and campaigns; and 3) a comprehensive description of how food and beverage social media marketing works in contemporary efforts to target young people.

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