How Companies Market Food and Candy to Our Kids

Ever wondered what goes on in the minds of children’s food marketers?

The Guardian tagged along recently to a day-long kid’s marketing "masterclass" titled: How do you create effective yet ethical campaigns that excite both children and their parents?

Attendees from companies such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Nestle and Tesco coughed up $1200 to attend and no wonder why: one UK charity estimates that British kids spend $8.4 billion annually on brand and products.

Other marketing figures suggest that the influence of children’s tastes on adult spending can be 10 times that figure.

The article is a good read to get insight into some of the ways marketers are using social networks (notably the major campaign undertaken by Skittles on Bebo) and the Internet in general to target kids’ food cravings but frankly my favourite part was the quote from McDonald’s chief marketing officer for northern Europe. Claiming to concentrate on being a force for good, Jill McDonald said: "We have a responsibility to educate".

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