Advocating safeguards to the digital marketing of unhealthy foods to adolescents, 2011-2012

The purpose of this project is to identify and address promising policy opportunities to reduce youths' exposure to digital forms of marketing unhealthy foods. In the last several years, the marketing of food and beverages to children and adolescents has undergone a profound transformation. Fast-food, snack-food and soft-drink companies are increasingly using digital tools and techniques to target young people through social media, mobile phones, gaming, and immersive websites, and to tailor communications to specific geographic, racial, ethnic and socioeconomic subgroups, including those at highest risk for childhood obesity. These marketing practices often are invisible to parents and the public. This project will work in collaboration with the Foundation's Food Marketing Working Group, National Policy and Legal Analysis Network, and other Foundation programs and grantees to identify policy openings that hold potential for lasting change in efforts to reduce children's exposure to the advertising of unhealthy foods in the digital era. In so doing, the project will expand existing networking among potential food marketing allies and stakeholders and broaden the expertise they bring to address technological, legal/regulatory and e-commerce marketplace concerns. Deliverables will include: (1) creation of the Digital Food Marketing Policy Work Group to develop safeguards in the digital marketing of foods; (2) a strategic analysis of the media environment to determine how best to frame the marketing issue; (3) updating the website; (4) updating information and analysis on digital marketing issues; and (5) development of a focused agenda of the most promising targets for strategic policy action for the following year. The grantee will not use Foundation funds for lobbying.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $200,000.00

Awarded on: 9/3/2011

Time frame: 9/1/2011 - 7/31/2012

Grant Number: 69383


Center for Digital Democracy

1621 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 550
Washington, 20009-1051


Jeffrey Alan Chester
Project Director


Kathryn C. Montgomery
Project Director