A new report, Food industry self-regulation after 10 years: Progress and opportunities to improve food advertising to children, was released by UConn Rudd Center earlier this week.
The report assesses the impact of industry voluntary improvements on children’s total exposure to TV and internet food advertising, companies’ compliance with their pledges, and limitations in industry self-regulation after 10 years of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI).
Rudd Center researchers used syndicated market research data to compare 2016 results to 2007, and examined three child age groups: preschoolers (ages 2-5), children (ages 6-11), and young teens (ages 12-14). An assessment of the nutritional quality of products that CFBAI companies have indicated may be in child-directed advertising is also included.
Specific findings related to sugary drink advertising:
- TV advertising for three sugary drink brands (Gatorade, Mountain Dew, and Pepsi) appeared to directly target 12- to 14-year-olds in 2016 as evidenced by the greatest disparities between ads viewed by this age group compared to children under 12.
- From 2007 to 2016, exposure to TV ads for Coca Cola nearly tripled for children of all age groups.
- Children continued to visit CFBAI company websites for products that could not be featured in child-directed advertising. 30% of visitors to CocaColaStore.com were children (ages 2-12).
View the report, graphics and additional information here.