The documentary “The Advertising Effect” reveals how international fast-food brands take advantage of the local cultures in developing countries to market their products. In Brazil, for instance, Pepsi advertisements often feature football players, while in India Oreo and Fanta rely on edutainment games.
This type of marketing has had significant consequences, such as rising levels of obesity and unhealthy consumption habits amongst children. The documentary interviews a chef to learn what considerations are taken into account when producing these foods and it turns out that nutrition and customer health are not priorities. Brand representatives deny any wrongdoing, claiming children will be able to make the right decisions regarding food consumption.
Unfortunately, even in countries where there are laws regulating food production, companies find ways to get around them. In Europe, for example, parents may not even be aware that their children are playing branded games without their approval.
This documentary sheds light on a systemic problem which requires political courage to address through sanctions and regulations. Who is responsible for this issue? Is it the parents to make sure their children are informed consumers? Or should marketers take responsibility for the messages they send out?
The Advertising Effect provides an interesting perspective on this difficult issue and encourages viewers to think about how we can create healthier environments for our children.