WASHINGTON Dec 21 Food companies spent
considerably less to advertise to children in 2009 than they did
in 2006, although the foods that were pitched were only slightly
more nutritious, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said in a
report out on Friday.
The FTC, in a survey of data from industry, found that
companies spent $1.79 billion to advertise to children aged 2 to
17 in 2009, down almost 20 percent, on an inflation-adjusted
basis, from $2.1 billion three years earlier.
But that drop came not because companies were advertising
less, necessarily, but because they were switching from more
expensive television advertising to online marketing, the FTC
The FTC also found "modest nutritional improvements" in the
foods advertised to children, in categories including cereals,
drinks and fast-food kid's meals.