Friday, October 21, 2011

Yet Another Example Of Deceptive Advertising: Pepsi’s Doritos.

You may remember from last month, Reebok was ordered to return more than $25 million dollars to consumers after being told they were not allowed to promote their new line of shoes as a means of toning and firming consumers butt and thighs without scientific evidence to back up their claim.
This week it was announced that PepsiCo is facing complaints from U.S. regulators over their promotional tactics of using events and video games as a means of marketing their product line; Doritos.
It has been suggested that The Federal Trade Commission investigate PepsiCo and Frito-Lay for their use of video games and events as a means of segmenting the youth market, in an effort to increase sales. The complaints are based around the fact that the company structures their commercials around things that teens love in an effort to capture that coolness factor, hoping to encourage teens to purchase more chips on a regular basis.
“Frito-Lays has infiltrated the lives of teens by developing convert advertising campaigns centered on things teens love,” says one of the complainants. With complaints centred around health facts, noting that Doritos chips are a salty snack high in calories and fat which could potentially lead to adolescent obesity.
The FTC has recently received the complaint letter and have said they are reviewing the complaint, but have not yet made a decision.
An interesting fact about PepsiCo: they are the world’s largest snack maker, with $13.4 billion dollars in chip sales last year along, and annual sales of $57.8 billion in global sales last year alone!
Strictly from a Marketing perspective; the company seems to be achieving internal marketing goals of reaching their target audience and achieving the coolness factor that many marketing campaigns strive to achieve while advertising towards the teen segment. Although their food products may not be healthy for their intended target segment, they sure are capturing their audience’s attention and reaching true success in marketing.

It's interesting to me that a company achieving this leve of success in Marketing is experiencing claims of deceptive advertising from a small segment of child psychologiest who study child obesity. This of course could open a whole new can of worms for such things as KFC's Double Down sandwich and other fast food or even snack food segments.

To read the full complaint article: click here

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