Increasing Disparities in Unhealthy Food Advertising Targeted to Hispanic and Black Youth

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Author(s): Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity, Council on Black Health and Salud America!

  • Jennifer L. Harris, PhD, MBA
  • Willie Frazier III, MPH
  • Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH
  • Amelie G. Ramirez, DrPH, MPH

Published: January 2019 in Pediatrics

Report Intro/Brief:
“We apply the same methods and definitions used in our previous report to identify food-related advertising targeted to Hispanic and Black consumers in 2017, including children (2-11 years) and teens (12-17 years). We document food, beverage and restaurant companies that spent more than $100 million in advertising in 2017 and/or participated in the CFBAI food industry self-regulatory program. We also examine changes from 2013, the year examined in our previous report.

Companies do not often publicize their marketing strategies. Therefore, we utilized publicly available information to assess targeted marketing. We use Nielsen syndicated market research data to identify the companies, brands, and product categories with the most advertising spending in targeted media (Spanish-language and Black targeted TV programming), and those investing a high proportion of their TV advertising budgets to targeted TV programming.

We also report exposure to TV advertising by Hispanic and Black youth at the company, brand, and product category levels. We assess targeted advertising to Hispanic children and teens using Nielsen data to measure the number of TV ads viewed on Spanish-language TV. To identify marketing targeted to Black children and teens, we measure relative exposure to advertisements on all TV programming for Black youth compared to White youth, controlling for differences in TV viewing times.

Finally, we collected and reviewed companies’ public statements about their targeted marketing for mentions of programs designed to reach and/or appeal to specific racial and/or ethnic segments of the population.”

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