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Food marketing to children is a sophisticated, expansive, and multibillion dollar industry. It currently spans a broad range of promotional techniques, including advertising (television, radio, print, digital/websites), advergames (brand-integrated videogames), product placement, packaging and labeling, character licensing, cross promotions, brand mascots and characters, and word-of-mouth or viral marketing (e.g., persuading people to forward ads to friends, often through games or video clips). Food marketing to children is also now a global phenomenon that typically uses multiple messages across diverse channels to attract attention.

Marketing refers to any commercial message that works to advertise or promote a product or service. The American Marketing Association defines marketing as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, ...

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