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Digital food marketing in adolescence – surveys conducted in a Norwegian context. Kaja Lund-Iversen


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The workshop of the PromoKids Network in Bergen 12 June 2019. Kaja Lund-Iversen.

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Digital food marketing in adolescence – surveys conducted in a Norwegian context. Kaja Lund-Iversen

  1. 1. PromoKids, workshop 12 June 2019, Bergen Kaja Lund-Iversen, senior adviser food and nutrition policy, The Norwegian Consumer Council Digital food marketing in adolescence – surveys conducted in a Norwegian context
  2. 2. The Norwegian context • One in six children and one in four teenager are overweight or obese • Children and adolescents consume on average more sugar and saturated fats and less F&V than rest of population • Among 10th graders - 14% and 24% of girls and boys drink soda 5 times per week or more often • Half of all 10-18 year olds drink caffeinated energy drinks • High levels of use of social media among children and adolescents Sources: Nasjonalt Folkehelseinstitutt; Helsedirektoratet; HBSC survey, Universitetet i Bergen (HEMIL); Forbrukerrådet; Barn- og medieundersøkelsen, Medietilsynet
  3. 3. Regulation of HFSS marketing • Follow-up of the WHA 2010, government consultations on draft legislation to ban marketing of HFSS foods to children. • Industry-led self-regulation scheme (MFU) established in 2013, came into force January 2014 • As a supplement to the Acts that regulate marketing and marketing to children, in order to protect child health • Limitations according to WHO Evaluation of implementation of the WHO recommendations (2018): • The age-limit only protecting <13 of age • The narrow scope and definition of marketing • Regulations focus exclusively on channels and techniques aimed at children
  4. 4. Study: The marketing of unhealthy food and beverages in social media – a focus group study with teenagers 13 and 15 of age May 2017 English version content/uploads/2017/05/report-marketing- in-some-final-norwegian-consumer-council- may2017.pdf 4
  5. 5. • Triple-E-techniques – Engagement, Emotions and Entertainment – are the most common marketing techniques in the social media. • The ads are conveyed through entertainment, amusing tasks and competitions, all of which makes it less obviously an ad and more interesting to the target group. «Advertainment»
  6. 6. Main findings • Experience that they are regularly exposed to advertising when online • Don’t think of advertainment as marketing, before we start asking • Difficult to recognize advertainment as marketing, • User- and peer-generated • Humour and entertaining • Competitions, prizes • Marketing go under the radar, are subtle, they think they are influenced without being fully aware • Branded products become part of adolescents' social networks online • 13 year olds were more aware and sceptic than the 15 year olds Not regarded as an ad because it is "voluntary"
  7. 7. Guidelines for labelling of ads on social media • The Norwegian Consumer Authority and the Norwegian Media Authority have developed guidelines for labelling of ads on social media rett/veiledninger-og-retningslinjer/veiledning- reklame-some menter/produktplassering/youtube_veileder.pdf
  8. 8. Disclosure of ads in youtubers video, little effect on snacking, new study shows
  9. 9. Study: Young and exposed to unhealthy marketing – a monitoring survey of digital food marketing with focus on influencers March 2019 English version: content/uploads/2019/02/young-and- exposed-to-unhealthy-marketing-digital-food- marketing-using-influencers-report-february- 2019.pdf 9
  10. 10. 10 • Identified 16 Norwegian youtubers with channels popular among children and adolescents • 50.000 - 300.000 followers • Monitored all videos uploaded in 2018 with focus on content marketing • 11 did promote food or drinks • In total 31 videos promoting food and drinks identified • 2/3 of the videos was promotion of Coca Cola Monitoring of Youtubers
  11. 11. 11 • 11 brands own pages • A lot of contests, less like, comment and share • Use of peers and youth culture • Everyday life and role models Monitoring of Facebook
  12. 12. NCC filed 7 complaints 2014 – 2019 1. Packaging of sugary cereals - rejected 2. 2-for-1 promotion of Coca Cola - rejected 3. IceTea promotion on Facebook - rejected 4. Chocolate milk on Facebook and Snapchat - rejected 5. Chocolate TV-commercial before 9 pm - rejected 6. Coke TV on Youtube - partly sustained 7. Happy Studio McDonalds mobile game to 6-12 year olds - sustained
  13. 13. Conclusions • Adolescents are not sufficiently protected against marketing of HFSS foods online • The age limit of the regulation need to be set higher in order to protect teenagers, but also younger children who also are exposed to marketing aimed at older children / adolescents • Third-party independent evaluation of MFU will be conducted in 2019 • NCC and the NCD-Alliance ask the evaluation to include: • A survey of digital marketing that children and adolescents are exposed to • An evaluation of the self-regulation against WHO Set of Recommendations • An evaluation and the state’s obligation as of the Convention of the Rights of the Child • Involvement of NGO’s and civil society organisations in a constructive way Thank you! Contact: Kaja Lund-Iversen, e-mail: