One of the roles of the FTC is to guard against "unfair and deceptive acts or practices." It also enforces the promises businesses make in their privacy policies but has failed to take a proactive role in shaping the substance of those policies, which is precisely what it must do to protect young consumers from harmful food and beverage industry practices.
 

Advertisers today have opportunities to target adolescents like never before. Increasingly, this is happening through under-regulated digital platforms that often take advantage of the way teenagers think and process information. Kathryn C. Montgomery and Jeff Chester expose some of the ways companies have been targeting adolescents in their digital marketing efforts and call for stronger policy solutions to adapt to marketers' changing playing field and tactics.

This update to research findings from our 2007 report, Interactive Food & Beverage Marketing: Targeting Children and Youth in the Digital Age, examines how emerging developments in digital marketing are influencing the strategies that food and beverage companies use to target young people and summarizes public policy debates over the issue. 
 

Diet-related diseases such as diabetes are on the rise, putting children's health at risk. This fact sheet reveals the scope of the problem and the role that food and beverage marketers play in fueling it.
 

In this letter to the Federal Trade Commission, public health and consumer privacy advocates express support for an agency study of food marketing to children. They call on the FTC to make sure its inquiry includes digital marketing practices, such as those outlined in Interactive Food & Beverage Marketing: Targeting Children and Youth in the Digital Age.
 

This brief report by Jeff Chester from the Center for Digital Democracy and Kathryn Montgomery from American University describes new marketing practices that are fundamentally transforming how food and beverage companies do business with young people in the twenty-first century.

The proliferation of media in children's lives has created a new 'marketing and media ecosystem' that encompasses mobile devices, social networks, instant messaging, video games, and virtual, three-dimensional worlds. This report examines how these new marketing practices are fundamentally transforming how food and beverage companies do business with young people in the 21st century.

Much of the debate on the roles that media and advertising have in the youth obesity crisis has focused on television. In this article, the authors argue that increasingly sophisticated digital marketing has escaped the same level of scrutiny, with the result that young people on both sides of the Atlantic are at risk from a marketing industry that is able to target them with an ever increasing level of personalisation. They conclude that, while self-regulation is undoubtedly of value, the time has come for governments to take decisive action of their own.
 

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