Food Marketing > Television Advertising


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In 2017, children (ages 2-11) viewed on average 10.0 food-related TV ads per day and teens (ages 12-17) averaged 9.4 ads per day. Time spent watching TV has declined from 2013 to 2017. However, food companies continue to devote 85% of their advertising budgets to TV, totaling $11 billion annually. Food companies also market to children and teens through product placements during TV programming.


Rudd Center Research

  • Trends in TV advertising: 2017 update reports food-related TV advertising viewed by children and teens from 2002 to 2017. Brief Report. May 2018.
  • Each FACTS Report includes a detailed section on television advertising spending and exposure for the category (including cereal, sugary drinks, fast food, and snacks).
  • Fleming-Milici, F., & Harris, J.L. (2018). Television food advertising viewed by preschoolers, children and adolescents: contributors to differences in exposure for black and white youth in the United States. Pediatric Obesity, 13, 103-110.
  • Harris, J.L., & Kalnova, S. (2017). Food and beverage TV advertising to young children: Measuring exposure and potential impact. Appetite, in press.
  • Elsey, J. & Harris, J.L. (2016). Trends in food and beverage television brand appearances viewed by children and teens from 2009 to 2015. Public Health Nutrition, 19(11), 1928-1933.
  • Harris, J.L., LoDolce, M.E., Dembek, C., & Schwartz, M.B. (2015). Sweet promises: Candy advertising to children and implications for food industry self-regulation. Appetite, 95(1), 585-592.
  • Fleming-Milici, F., Harris, J.L., Sarda, V., & Schwartz, M.B. (2013). Amount of Hispanic youth exposure to food and beverage advertising on Spanish- and English-language television. JAMA Pediatrics, 167(8), 723-730.
  • Harris, J.L., Sarda, V., Schwartz, M.B., & Brownell, K.D. (2013). Redefining “child-directed advertising” to reduce unhealthy television food advertising. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 44(4), 358-364.
  • Where children and adolescents view food and beverage ads on TV reports exposure by channel and program. Rudd Report. March 2013.


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