Azara Blog: Shock: food manufacturers try to convince people to buy their food

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Date published: 2006/11/24

The BBC says:

Leading food manufacturers are accused of using tactics to push foods high in fat, sugar and salt to children.

A report by consumer group Which? says companies use "underhand" ploys such as free toys and websites to appeal to young children.

Researchers monitored the marketing practices of 12 food giants over six months and interviewed 50 children.

Food manufacturers rejected the consumer group's claims, saying they adhered to advertising guidelines.
Which? researchers looked at 20 different marketing techniques used by the 12 companies: Burger King, Coca-cola, Cadbury Schweppes, Haribo, Kellogg's, KFC, Kraft, Masterfoods, McDonald's, Nestlé, Pepsico and Weetabix.

The most popular methods used the internet, children's films and the World Cup.

Some products encouraged "viral marketing", when children spread a brand message to each other by emailing e-cards, cartoons or spoof adverts. Others used competitions.

Which? says advertisers are turning their focus to parents too, "making foods high in fat, sugar or salt seem healthy options for their children".

Nick Stace of Which? said: "How can parents be expected to give their children a healthy, balanced diet when these sophisticated, underhand techniques are targeting their children often behind their backs?

More control freakery by the academic middle class. How dare companies make people want to buy their products. They should obviously be socially responsible and do the exact opposite and go bust. And if Which? doesn't like obnoxious corporate marketing perhaps they should look at how they themselves try to entrap people to buy their useless magazine.

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