Skip to main content

ANA: Kids Seeing Fewer Snack-Food Ads

Young kids saw 25% fewer food, beverage and restaurant ads during kids’ shows in 2007 than they did in 2004.

That's according to a study commissioned by the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Association of National Advertisers. The study was based on Nielsen Media Research ratings and updated a similar study in 2004, according to the ANA.

The biggest decline from 2004 was in ads for candy and soft drinks in shows targeted toward kids 2-11. The study concluded that there were 99% fewer ads for diet soft drinks from 2004-07; a 98% decrease in ads for cookies, candy and snacks; and 97% fewer ads for soft drinks. By contrast, there was a 400% increase in ads for fruit and vegetables on kids’ TV and a 135% increase in ads for fruit and vegetable juices.

But whatever is being advertised, TV remains the dominant place for it, at least in traditional forms. Paid Internet advertising gets only a fraction (2%) of that spent on TV, while outdoor advertising gets only 3% of the dollars TV gets.

That obviously had to have an impact on ad spending. According to the study, conducted by Georgetown Economic Services, expenditures on food, beverage and restaurant advertising fell by 6.1% in 2007 from 2004.

In 2005, major food marketers agreed to limit advertising of snack foods to kids and promote healthier food and lifestyle choices.

The study was released on the eve of a Senate hearing on food marketing to kids.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.