Eye On Marketers

Marketing has a profound affect on the foods we eat and the beverages we drink, yet most of that marketing is for products we should avoid. BMSG monitors the media to help keep advocates informed of the tactics food and beverage companies use to target children, communities of color, and other groups that are particularly susceptible to the health harms these products cause.
Source: PR Newswire
Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Year's tradition in Atlanta was a prime marketing opportunity for Mars Chocolate and M&Ms. The company declared 2014 "Year of the Peanut", and incorporated a giant M&M into the traditional New Year's Eve Peach Drop. The event, the culmination of a larger M&M promotion, also featured well-known Atlanta singer Janelle Monae.

Source: The Almanac
Tuesday, December 31, 2013

McDonald's is facing outrage after the reveal of an internal company website that acknowledged the health harms of fast food. The authors of this article deride the chain's defensive response to the controversy, and argue," it's time for companies to take real responsibility for their mistakes and products."

Source: Digital Journal
Monday, December 30, 2013

Each finalist represents a different McDonald's burger. A quote from McDonald's marketing director highlights how the contest helps the company build ties with communities of color: he comments that "Music is an essential component of culture and communities." The competition is part of McDonald's 365Black program, which creates events and programs to help the company target African Americans.

Source: FoodNavigator-usa.com
Friday, December 20, 2013

On December 5, the GMA, which represents many food and beverage companies, sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration asking the FDA to authorize GMO foods to be labeled "natural." The Association argues that such foods do not differ in "any meaningful way" from unmodified foods. The Environmental Working Group and others have decried GMA's request, arguing that it confuses consumers trying to select products that are truly free from genetically engineered ingredients.

Source: MultiVu
Friday, December 20, 2013

The latest campaign from Post Foods will pit popular wrestler John Cena against basketball player Kyrie Irving in a competition to determine whether Fruity Pebbles or Cocoa Pebbles is more popular with fans. In addition to a social media component and online competition, the promotion includes corporate social responsibility partnerships with nonprofit organizations that work with disabled individuals and veterans.

Source: MediaPost
Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Food and Drug Administration has responded to requests from food manufacturers and others to extend the comment period on its preliminary decision to classify partially hydrogenated oils as food additives that must be regulated. The extended comment period will end in March of 2014.

Source: PR Newswire
Thursday, December 19, 2013

Frito-Lay's recently ended "Score for your school" campaign urged Texas consumers to buy Frito-Lay products to raise money for high school athletics, in part by aligning the program with the values "leadership, teamwork, and cooperation."

Source: QSR Magazine
Thursday, December 19, 2013

Observing that "[video] game releases and wing cravings go hand in hand with [their] fan base," Wingstop and Dr Pepper have launched #FlavorFight, a holiday promotional contest. Fans who use social media networks to vote for their favorite Wingstop flavor are eligible to win prizes, including GameStop gift cards.

Source: Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity
Thursday, December 19, 2013

Marion Nestle provides an overview of the Chilean ministry of health's recently issued rules for food labeling and marketing to children. She points out that the new guidelines are substantially stricter than anything ever proposed in the United States.

Source: MediaPost
Thursday, December 19, 2013

Marketers recognize that low-income consumers, especially low-income Latino consumers, must sometimes make trade-offs as they decide which necessities to purchase. Writer Roberto Siewcyznski urges marketers and retailers to follow "a separate set of rules ... to reach lower-income Hispanic shoppers," such as employing innovative media channels that enable advertisers to "dial into this shopper with non-traditional and highly targeted vehicles."

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