Interactive Food & Beverage Marketing: Targeting Children and Youth in the Digital Age

Print More

Center for Digital Democracy and the Berkeley Media Studies Group

Food and beverage companies are using cell phones, instant messaging, video games, user-generated video (such as YouTube) and three-dimensional virtual worlds to promote their products to children and adolescents, according to researchers.

The report documents how major food, soft drink and fast-food brands are targeted at youth, often under the radar of parents. It also covers a range of new strategies for targeting specific ethnic groups, including African-Americans and Hispanics. Among the examples: young cell phone users text-messaging a special phone number to receive an instant electronic coupon for a free McFlurry dessert at McDonald’s. Free. 98 pages. (202) 494-7100,