In response to “Athlete Endorsements in Food Marketing,” a study published today by The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Beverage Association issued the following statement:


“America's beverage companies have a longstanding commitment to responsible advertising and marketing practices, including not directing advertising to audiences comprised predominantly of children under 12. This study, in fact, reaffirms that children younger than 12 are not the age group primarily viewing food- and beverage-related advertisements that include professional athletes. Our industry offers consumers a variety of choices to help make informed decisions and we respect parents’ roles as the primary decision makers in choosing what their children consume.” 

Additional Background:

On Responsible Marketing:

Under a Global Policy on Marketing to Children, our member companies do not advertise beverages other than juice, water or milk-based drinks to any audience that is comprised predominantly of children under 12. The policy covers a wide range of marketing outlets including paid third party media such as television, radio, print, Internet, phone messaging and cinema, including product placement. An independent study in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine found that between 2003 and 2009, the largest reductions in advertising to children (ages 2-5 and 6-11) were seen in the beverage category. Research conducted in the United States by Georgetown Economic Services and sponsored by the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Association of National Advertisers supports that there has been a dramatic change in food and beverage advertising during children’s programming. In fact, between 2004 and 2010, advertisements for soft drinks decreased by 96 percent, while advertisements for fruit and vegetable juices increased by 199 percent. Our members also follow the guidelines of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, the self-regulatory body for children’s advertising, which apply to all of our beverages. In addition, some ABA members were among the first to sign on to the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, a program that increases the percentage of advertising for products that meet certain nutrition standards directed at children under 12, as well as advertising messages that encourage good nutrition and healthy lifestyles.

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The American Beverage Association is the trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the United States.  For more information on ABA, please visit the association’s Web site at or call the ABA communications team at (202) 463-6770.