PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – In 2006 the Council of Better Business Bureaus launched a voluntary initiative, the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, requiring participating companies to “cease paying for or actively seeking to place their food and beverage products in editorial and programming content that is primarily directed to children aged 12 and under for the purpose of promoting the sale of those products.”

Many companies, signed up. But according to a new report, children and adolescents continue to see the products of many of these companies through frequent product placement in prime-time TV programming. Product placement is finding creative ways to include products in the context of shows, not placed in standard commercials.

The authors reviewed data about the number of food, beverage and restaurant brand appearances within prime-time TV shows during 2008 gathered by Nielsen and they found that product placement for food, beverage and restaurant brands occurred nearly 35,000 times. According to their information, the leader was the Coca-Cola brand. It accounted for 70% of child and 61% of adolescent exposure to brand appearances. The authors single out one show, American Idol, as accounting for more than 95% of these exposures.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor

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