It's a Game, It's Junk Food, It's Advergaming!

Ritz Bits soccer screen shot
Ritz Bits Soccer Shoot Out Game

The Kaiser Family Foundation has released a study titled "It's Child's Play: Advergaming and the Online Marketing of Food to Children," which found that more than eight out of ten (85%) of the top food brands that target children through TV advertising also use branded websites to market to children online. "Overwhelmingly, almost exclusively, the Web sites you are looking at are for foods that are of poor nutritional quality," said Margo G. Wootan, director of nutrition at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. A Kraft Foods executive said experts disagree on the impact of advertising food to kids. "There are many different factors contributing to childhood obesity and overweight," said Nancy Daigler, a Kraft vice president. Examples of advergaming are Cheetos Cowtapult, Ritz Bits Soccer Shoot Out, and several games choices featuring Pop-Tarts.


I think it is very sad that the ONLY thing CSPI can harp on is childhood obesity. There are many reasons the above practice is harmful, including turning them into little corporate clones. Furthermore, nutrition and exercise are important for all children.
It is too bad the corporate cops have no idea how much they are damaging children by constantly putting them in a negative spotlight
and contributing to the moral panic surrounding childhood obesity. I honestly think the corporations like it to, because they only have to defend themselves on one issue. They can just hope someone will invent a pill for fat and focus blame on parents until that comes along. I really feel sorry for today's childrens and thank God I am not a parent.