Forum – Food for thought: shouldn't we actually target food advertising more towards kids and not less?

Juliet Strachan and Vincent Pavie-Latour
HPI

INTRODUCTION

When originally preparing to write this paper, the authors trawled the internet to obtain background information and understand the current climate concerning food marketing to children. Getting a feel for prevailing views helped them decide how best to use their experience in researching food and nutrition among children and young people to inform this important debate.

There was a huge amount available on this subject and, on further study, it became clear that there is a real conflict between the food marketer and the kids audience (or rather their advocates): they are out to get you, these are the tricks they are using. What became eminently clear was that the vast majority were suggesting that children should be coddled, protected and insulated from any form of active food selling aimed at them – largely on the basis that they are not rational or discerning, and cannot discriminate true or worthy advertising messages from the manipulative hard sell or pure temptation.