Food Marketers Rely Less on TV in Favor of Other Marketing, Says CSPI About FTC Report

Statement of CSPI Nutrition Policy Director Margo G. Wootan


The new data released today by the Federal Trade Commission show that food advertising on children’s television hasn’t increased. But that’s hardly cause for much celebration. As parents know, television is just a one slice of an ever-expanding pie of food marketing aimed at kids.

Once kid-directed food advertising was largely confined to Saturday morning cartoon shows. But next year, when the FTC looks at all of the other forms of food marketing aimed at kids, it will likely show that food advertisers are engaging in a massive, sophisticated multimedia campaign to get kids to eat junk food. It’s a campaign that uses in-school marketing, games on websites, licensed “spokescharacters” on food packages, and other tactics. It’s a campaign that helps fuel the skyrocketing rates of childhood obesity and diabetes. There’s virtually no encouragement at all to eat healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. And that kind of corporate irresponsibility is why parents are increasingly looking to Congress and even the courts to help protect kids’ health.

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