October 19th, 2011
Pepsi Uses Games to Mask Doritos Marketing to Teens, Groups Say
By Eric Engleman
PepsiCo Inc.’s Frito-Lay unit uses online video games and concerts to disguise marketing campaigns for its Doritos chips aimed at teenagers, consumer groups said in a complaint to U.S. regulators.
The Federal Trade Commission should investigate PepsiCo and Frito-Lay for deceptive and unfair digital marketing practices, including collecting teens’ personal information “without meaningful notice and consent,” according to the complaint, scheduled to be filed today by the Washington-based Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Watchdog and two other groups.
“Frito-Lay has infiltrated the lives of teens by developing covert advertising campaigns centered on things teens love,” including video games and music, according to a draft complaint. The digital campaign influences teens to buy Doritos, a salty snack high in calories and fat that contributes to adolescent obesity, the complaint alleges.
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