LONDON: Walkers Crisps, McDonald's and Coca-Cola are among the favourite brands of children in the UK, a new survey by Brand Republic and Harris Interactive has shown.

The Kids Brand Index 2011 found Walkers Crisps was the top brand for British 7–15 year olds. The Simpsons, the long-running US cartoon series, was second.

McDonald's, the quick service chain, Coca-Cola, the soft drink, and the Nintendo Wii, the games console, rounded out the top five.

In all, the sample group of 4,000 seven-to-15 year olds - segmented into "tweens" (up to 11 years old) and "teens" - were asked about 166 brands for the study.

The metrics determining the rankings included brand awareness, whether they would recommend the brand to others and how "cool" they thought the featured brands were.

The survey strongly suggested brand preferences change as children approach their teens. While Walkers ranked top of the tweens' brand rankings, it finished only fifth among 12–15 year olds.

Meanwhile, teens ranked Facebook as their favourite brand, with YouTube in second place.

At the parent company level, Nintendo was the leading advertiser in the top ten. As well as the Wii in fifth place, the Japanese gaming firm's DS handheld console was ninth on the list while its Wii Sports game was in tenth.

Snack and fast food brands also did well. Along with Walkers, McDonald's and Coca-Cola ranking in the top five, Maltesers and Haribo, both confectionery brands, finished seventh and eighth respectively.

Kate Mendoza, head of education at the World Cancer Research Fund, expressed concern at this trend, suggesting that it represented a "wake-up call" for the UK government to introduce tougher regulations on ads for certain types of food.

"This research into children's brand awareness and preferences is stark evidence of the powerful impact advertising has on children," Mendoza told the Daily Mail.

"While there may be controls on TV advertising during children's programmes, there are countless other ways for companies to access children - by advertising during TV shows such as the X Factor, sponsoring events like the Olympics or through websites and online."

Data sourced from Daily Mail; additional content by Warc staff