Six brands target children with ‘hidden’ junk food advertising on digital media: prof

National Business Review
Chris Kaell

Digital media marketing firms are using personalised promotion, interactive and direct engagement and integrated cross-platform techniques to sell products to young people that are high in fat, sugar and salt, according to University of Sydney Business School research — pushing the limits on social media and the web while regulators focus on more traditional media.

In her study of six food brands, associate professor of marketing Teresa Davis identifies a number of methods used by digital marketers to build brand relationships with young consumers in ways not seen in traditional media.

Dr Davis tells NBR the six brands are:

Coca-Cola South Pacific;
Cadbury Australia (part of Kraft Foods Australia);
Chupa Chups;
Doritos Australia (part of The Smith’s Snackfood Company; and
Pringles (part of Kellogg)
“The easiest examples to explain are ‘tag a friend with their favorite flavour of Cadbury’s chocolate/Doritos/pringles’ type of Facebook campaign,” Dr Davis says.

“This allows a company access to the friends of their consumers’ Facebook pages and friends of friends — a multiplicative effect.”

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