So what does it mean to “market” food products to children? Some lines are clear but the gray areas are vast. Case in point is the accusation by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) that Nestle broke its pledge to not market candy to children by marketing Girl Scout-themed Crunch bars. Nestle’s pledge was made through its membership in the industry-led Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative.
Personally, it’s difficult to see how the inclusion of the Girl Scout logo on a candy bar crosses the line from marketing to adults, to marketing to adults and children. After all, if we’re talking about the supermarket check-out line, then my children are sufficiently attracted to the candy and the Girl Scout Logo would not unduly draw their attention. On the other hand, if candy bars included pictures of Transformers robots, then the line would clearly be crossed by this fact alone. But, of course, the differences between these scenarios are relatively subtle and opinions on whether they “target children” are highly subjective.