266469 State law approaches to predatory digital marketing of foods and beverages to youth

Monday, October 29, 2012

Mark A. Gottlieb, JD , at Northeastern Univ. School of Law, Public Health Advocacy Institute, Boston, MA
Cara Wilking, JD , Public Health Advocacy Institute, Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, MA
Andrew Cheyne, CPhil , Research Team, Berkeley Media Studies Group, Berkeley, CA
Lori Dorfman, DrPH , Berkeley Media Studies Group, Berkeley, CA
Jeff Chester , Center for Digital Democracy, Washington, DC
Food marketing that relies upon computers and mobile devices to engage young people has exploded in recent years and can directly target and geo-locate youth, often without parental knowledge. Complex marketing campaigns integrate text messages, websites, promotional emails, points or rewards schemes, games, social networking and more. State attorneys general (AGs) have authority to protect the public from unfair and deceptive marketing under a range of state and federal laws. Digital marketing that bypasses parents and is designed to induce children to purchase food products may be conducive to AG intervention

Investigators' approach is to synthesize state and federal laws related to digital food marketing tactics and campaigns to provide a roadmap for AG action and, in some cases, private legal action to protect children from deceptive food marketing.

Investigators have cataloged troubling emerging predatory digital marketing tactics and have overlaid them on a state law platform or, in some instances, federal law where enforcement is permitted by state authorities.

These findings may provide important resources for interventions to reign in some of the egregious new food marketing practices.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Explain the potential for state law and state attorneys general to address the rapidly expanding digital marketing of empty calories to youth. Describe how multifaceted digital marketing campaigns work, how they engage youth, and how they may run afoul of state or federal laws.

Keywords: Marketing, Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the P.I. for the study underlying the content and have studied legal approaches to kids' food and beverages marketing for several years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.