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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Scrutiny of marketing to children goes beyond traditional advertising

There has been much coverage about the influence of traditional advertising on childhood obesity, a topic that has had a higher profile, recently, thanks to first lady Michelle Obama.  A story in today’s New York Times suggests that scrutiny continues to go beyond the ad campaigns of food producers and fast food restaurants… to include the websites, social networks and even video games produced by those companies.  Click here to see the story.

Implications:   If you market to children, it’s smart to scrutinize both your motive and your message before sharing it with your public… because you know that others will.

If you offer a product or service that is particularly healthy or beneficial to children, you might even want to consider whether less beneficial items are also on the rack or menu nearby… as those elements might provide your critics with “the appearance of impropriety” they are looking for to cause a fuss.

That having been said, the more attention “violators” receive in this age of scrutiny, the more likely a child-friendly offering can be a valuable keystone in marketing to families, as long as the benefits are authentic and meaningful.

Mike Anderson, for the Elm Street Economics consumer trends blog. A service of The Center for Sales Strategy, Inc.

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