WASHINGTON - Marketing food and drinks to children these days occurs with more than just a few television ads. It involves promotional displays at grocery stores and packaging that directs them to Web sites where they can play games, win prizes or send e-cards to a friend.
In all, the nation’s largest food and beverage companies spent about $1.6 billion in 2006 marketing their products to children, according to a Federal Trade Commission report released Tuesday, July 29, 2008.
About $200 million of that went to cross-promotional campaigns designed to provide children and teens with repeated product exposure across several venues. For example, some 80 films, television shows and video games were used to also promote food and beverages to children and teens, the FTC found.