More evidence that industry self-regulation is flawed.
“Despite voluntary pledges from candy makers not to advertise to children 11 and under, four years after the promises went into effect children were viewing substantially more TV ads for candy, according to a new study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut,” UConn Today reports.
Specifically, “From 2008 to 2011, children’s exposure to candy ads on U.S. TV increased 74 percent, rising to an average of 485 ads viewed per child in 2011, compared to an average of 279 ads viewed per child in 2008, according to the study.”
What is important to point out is that most of these advertisements were from companies that belong to the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI) — “a self-regulatory program to improve food marketing to children that began in 2007.”
The study, published in the journal Appetite, shared some disturbing findings. Among them:
- “Of 485 candy ads viewed on TV by children in 2011, 365 were from companies participating in the CFBAI, and 315 of these ads were for brands that companies had promised not to advertise directly to children ages 2 to 11.”
- “From 2008 to 2011, advertising for candy brands from Hershey, Mars, Nestle, and Kraft, which all pledged not to advertise candy to children, increased 152 percent (rising from 125 to 315 ads viewed). Of note, Hershey accounted for 170 of the 190 additional ads viewed.”