FTC: $1.6 billion spent marketing food and drinks to kids in 2006

WASHINGTON The Federal Trade Commission has recommended that the food and entertainment industries use characters from TV and movies to promote healthy food following a report released Tuesday showing that food and beverage companies spent $1.6 billion in 2006 marketing their products to kids.

Much of the money, $492 million, went toward marketing carbonated drinks, while restaurants spent $294 million. Cereal manufacturers spent $237 million, mostly marketing to children younger than 12.

In early June, Safeway and Warner Brothers Consumer Products announced an agreement to use Looney Toons characters to market the supermarket chain’s Eating Right Kids line of foods and beverages.

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