Published: March 2022

Publisher: Healthy Eating Research

Authors: Bragg M, Pomeranz J, Cassidy O

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Most food advertisements that children see are for unhealthy foods and beverages. Paying “influencers”—online celebrities with large social media fan bases—to endorse or promote products on their social media accounts is a relatively new tool that companies use to market their products. Engaging kid influencers has the added bonus of reaching younger audiences. Kids may be especially susceptible to influencer advertising, because it leverages their more trusting nature and this type of advertising can be difficult to separate from other content. This issue brief discusses what we know about “kid influencer” food marketing, and is based on a recent publication that examined kid influencer marketing of food and beverage products on YouTube.  The brief also presents policy recommendations to address this new marketing practice.

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