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As FTC Convenes 2007 Workshop On Childhood Obesity, ANA Highlights Unprecedented Steps By Private Industry To Combat This Nation

New Research Documents Steady Reduction in TV Food Ads Reaching Children 2-11

New York, NY — As the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) convenes its workshop on childhood obesity today, food marketers can point to multiple, unprecedented initiatives by private industry that are directly designed to assist in responding to the alarming rise in childhood obesity, according to an assessment by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).

In addition, new research jointly commissioned by the ANA and the Grocery Manufacturers Association/Food Products Association documents a substantial 8.5 percent reduction between 2004 and 2006 in food, beverage and restaurant ads seen by the average child 2-11 years old. This research, executed by Georgetown Economic Services, adds to prior data which showed a 13.5 percent decrease between 1993 and 2004. Together, these studies reveal a 22 percent decline in food, beverage and restaurant ads seen on TV by the average child over the past 12 years.

“The steady decline in food advertising to children on broadcast and cable, coupled with the enormous changes in food advertising, signal a remarkable transformation in the marketplace,” said Robert Liodice, ANA President and CEO. “Everyone – government, educators and parents – must do their part to combat childhood obesity in America. In that regard, the marketing industry has shown exceptional leadership by taking extremely strong, voluntary steps.”

Those comprehensive actions, according to Liodice, directly address the FTC’s childhood obesity recommendations issued in May 2006 and based on the agency’s July 2005 workshop. They include:

“These extraordinary, voluntary efforts demonstrate the marketing industry’s willingness to take strong, comprehensive actions to address consumer and government concerns about childhood obesity in America,” said Daniel Jaffe, ANA Executive Vice President of Government Relations. “The advertising community has already spent multi-billions of dollars responding to consumer demands for more options in the marketplace to combat childhood obesity. Today’s announcements are an even greater acceleration of those efforts. They also illustrate that self-regulation is working – and working extremely well.”

About the ANA:

The Association of National Advertisers leads the marketing community by providing its members insights, collaboration and advocacy. ANA’s membership includes 400 companies with 9000 brands that collectively spend over $100 billion in marketing communications and advertising. The ANA strives to communicate marketing best practices, lead industry initiatives, influence industry practices, manage industry affairs and advance, promote and protect all advertisers and marketers.

Press Contacts:
Rachael Adler
CooperKatz & Co.

Lesley Weiner
CooperKatz & Co.

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