Originally published: August 3, 2011
Last updated: August 3, 2011 - 12:30pm
Food and beverage advertisers may have found a handy way to dodge their own guidelines restricting the marketing of junk food to children, according to a new study from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University.
While companies have cut back on TV ads aimed at children, and in some cases cut out TV ads for candy altogether, they've also upped the use of product placement, the study found. That's a loophole that the Council of Better Business Bureaus' Children's Food and Beverage Initiative, the industry's self-regulatory program, should close, the study concluded. "We want to recognize the food industry has changed how they market to children. We just want to make sure there isn't other stuff going under the radar," said Marlene Schwartz, deputy director of the Rudd Center and one of the authors of the study.
The study comes at a rotten time for food and beverage advertisers, which are in a heated battle over the federal government's new proposed voluntary guidelines on marketing to children, which, if followed, would affect every marketing tactic from advertising to packaging to sponsorships.
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