ANA Acts: Touts Decline In Food Ads, Pledges Support Of Healthier Fare
The ANA and the Grocery Manufacturers Association/Food Products Association said there was an 8.5% decrease in food advertising targeted to kids 2-11 between 2004 and 2006. In the nine previous years--1993 through 2004--the ANA says there was a 13.5% decrease of food advertising targeted to this demo.
Overall, the ANA computes there has been a 22% decline in food, beverage and restaurant ads seen on TV by the average child during the past 12 years.
The ANA says this finding helps bolster the FTC recommendations issued in May 2006, which included pushing for the introduction of 10,000 new healthy food products, representing approximately $250 billion in annual U.S. food and beverage industry sales.
This shift is part of a voluntary pledge by 11 major food companies--which represent more than two-thirds of children's food TV advertising--to devote at least half their advertising to healthier foods.
Those companies include General Mills, Campbell Soup Co., Kellogg, Kraft Foods, Coca-Cola, Mars/Masterfoods, Hershey Foods, Unilever and Cadbury Adams. But not--so far--companies like Burger King, ConAgra, Nestle and Chuck E. Cheese.
Advertisers also said they would refrain from using license entertainment characters in these advertisements that encourage--or sometimes confuse--young children.
In addition, the Ad Council and a broad range of marketers, media companies, nonprofits, foundations and government agencies will form the Coalition for Healthy Children.
Some $350 million in donated media time will be used to push a campaign touting physical activity, better food choices and smaller food portions. In February, the Ad Council launched a new round of PSAs featuring "Shrek" characters that urge children to get more exercise.
Some government officials have said the growing concern of children's obesity could force legislation to limit or eliminate food TV advertising targeted to kids under 12.