This article assesses the nutritional quality of foods that are advertised with familiar children’s characters. It also examines how frequently familiar characters are paired with health messages in these advertisement. A total of 577 food advertisements that were aired on the most popular broadcast and cable channels during 2011 were included in the study. Researchers found that familiar characters were used in 73 percent of food ads targeting children. Trade characters–live or animated figures originally created as part of an advertising campaign that consistently appear in ad campaigns–appeared in more than half of the sampled ads (56%), whereas licensed characters–live or animated figures originally created for entertainment purposes–were found in roughly one of every six ads (17%). Familiar characters were used most frequent in ads for sugared cereals (88%) and restaurants/fast foods (78%). Although the majority (72%) of the ads promoted foods of low nutritional quality, more than half (53%) included a health-related marketing message.
Healthy Characters? An Investigation of Marketing Practices in Children’s Food Advertising
Televised food advertising to children has long been dominated by low-nutrient, high-calorie products. In response to public and policy-maker concern, 16 of the nation’s largest food conglomerates participate in a self-regulatory initiative in an effort to improve the nutritional quality of foods advertised to children, known as the Children’s Food … More
Changes in Beverage Availability and Targeted Marketing Associated with the Philadelphia Beverage Tax
The goal of this study is to provide much needed scientific evidence about whether the Philadelphia beverage tax is associate with changes in beverage availability and targeted marketing, with a focus on drinks commonly consumed by children ages 0-5 and Black and Latinx households with young children. Specific aims include: … More
Breastfeeding protects against overweight and obesity, asthma, eczema, and type-II diabetes, and has long-term health benefits for women. The health benefits of breastfeeding are so valuable that in 1981, the World Health Organization established the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes (WHO Code) that prohibits marketing infant formula to … More