Giving Compass' Take:
- Jessica Fu discusses a new report examining how food companies use geolocation, social media, and other tools to influence what kids eat, harming their health and privacy.
- What can donors and policymakers do to protect the privacy of children online?
- Read about the surveillance of student social media accounts.
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In the fall of 2019, Coca-Cola subsidiary Fanta tried to meet the youth where they were: on finsta.
For the unfamiliar, the term refers to secondary Instagram accounts that teens and young adults use to share content of a more personal or absurd nature than they would on their public profiles. As part of a new marketing campaign, Fanta created distinct Instagram accounts for some of its most popular flavors, each meant to be a finsta-like landing page separate from the company’s corporate account. The point? To reach Gen Z in a mode that felt intimate and familiar.
“We borrowed from real teen behavior,” wrote a designer involved with the social media campaign.
Fanta’s finsta pages even encouraged followers to send in personal photographs via direct message, which the company would edit to incorporate Fanta products and logos. The whole production was a notable departure from the company’s more traditional television advertisements; the novelty garnered a fair bit of press attention at the time. It also raised concerns among consumer protection advocates about emerging strategies that food and beverage companies are adopting to sell junk food to kids.
While public health advocates have long criticized such ads as harmful to children’s health, a new report is making the case that they may also infringe on kids’ privacy. Its authors point to Fanta’s Instagram campaign as an example of how foods low in nutritious value get pushed onto an impressionable demographic with little oversight.
Read the full article about the privacy of children online by Jessica Fu at The Counter.