Junk food firms use Internet and mobile phones to attract kids

January 2nd, 2008 - 4:55 pm ICT by admin  

London, Jan 2 (ANI): Campaigners have warned that junk food firms will target kids over the Internet and mobile phones, because of the introduction of new rules on television advertisements.

The warning has come after television adverts of junk food aimed at under-16s were banned since Jan 1, 2008.

However, Richard Watts, of the Children’s Food Campaign, which works for improving youngsters’ health through better food, said that such firms would find other means to reach their target audience.

He said firms are promoting their product through social networking websites and online games.

“We are seeing a general growth in the way the Internet and text messaging is used to target children with ads. There are a lot of websites springing up where there is an interactive feel. Companies have ‘kid zones’ where children can play games with their friends, the Telegraph quoted him, as saying.

” Some brands are also using internet chat programs to target potential customers, who are urged to download branded “buddies” to their friends list. These give the users the latest information on the company’s products, he added.

Ed Mayo, chief executive of the National Consumer Council, has called for parents to protect their kids from being exposed to such adverts.

“Parents should be aware that the Internet is highly commercial. Every hour that a child spends in front of the computer is like letting them run loose in a shopping centre,” Mayo said. (ANI)

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