Sugary Drink Marketing Aimed At Minority Children?

Black and Latino children may be disproportionately affected by advertisements marketing drinks with high sugar content, such as sodas and sports drinks. That’s according to a new study released by the nonprofit Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. Jennifer Harris of the organization explains about how marketers target minority children with ads.

How are marketers specifically targeting Black and Latino youth with sugary drink ads?

“We don’t know for sure that the marketers are targeting anyone because we don’t have access to their internal strategy documents. So what we do is look at the data and ask a couple of questions. We ask if they’re using techniques that appeal more to one group or another. For example, Sprite has a step-and-jerk dance competition, which is popular among Black, inner-city youth; that would be an indicator they’re targeting Black youth. Or any kind of Spanish-language advertising would be obvious that they’re targeting a Latino audience.

“We know how many Black or Latino youth are seeing different advertising, so we compare that to how many ads white youth are seeing, and the data show us what products are reaching disproportionately more Black or Latino youth.”

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