Washington: If your kid in insisting for a happy meal, he might be more interested in the toy rather than the burger, as a new study has suggested that fast-food advertisements aimed at kids emphasize giveaways and movie tie-ins much more frequently than ads targeted at adults.
Researcher James Sargent and his colleagues from the Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth compared ads from fast food companies on children`s TV channels such as Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network to those aired for adults.
They found that ads targeted at children emphasized food packaging and street views of the restaurants, whereas adult ads emphasized the images of the food sold there. Nearly 70 percent of children`s advertisements included toy giveaways, whereas only 1 percent of ads for adults mentioned giveaways.
Audio scripts for adult advertisements emphasized food taste, price and portion size, whereas the children`s ads focused on movie tie-ins and free toys.
The study suggested that given health concerns about obesity and its relation to fast food consumption, enhanced oversight of fast-food marketing to children at the local, state and federal level is needed to align advertising to children with health promotion efforts and existing principles of honest and fair marketing to children.
The research was published in the journal PLOS ONE.