Sneaky Use of Apps To Target Kids

Mobile phone apps and social media are increasingly being used to advertise and promote junk food according to a review by consumer magazine Choice.

Mobile apps that have been singled out as being of concern include Hungry Jack’s “Shake & Win” and KFC’s “Snack! In the Face” which offer easy to play games that generate vouchers for free snacks or discounted food and prizes can even be gifted to friends via facebook.

With children increasingly exposed to junk food advertising via apps, social media, viral marketing and celebrity endorsements, competitions and ‘advergames’ with embedded brand messages and licensed characters, educating kids about junk food has never been more challenging,” a Choice spokesman said in a statement.

At present apps are able to sidestep some of the criteria in the Advertising Standards Board and companies are merely required to voluntarily limit advertising to children, a form of self-regulation. However, independent surveys across many countries have found self-regulation by the food and beverage industries has had little impact on the volume of advertising seen by kids in the last five years. Children can find it difficult to tell the difference between advertising and entertainment, especially when popular characters are used.

So just another reason to be vigilant with digital media access and use for our kids and we need to keep up the message at home about the importance of healthy food!