New Zealand study finds children exposed to a brand every minute

A new study of marketing in New Zealand has revealed children are exposed to a brand every minute.

Researchers put body cameras on children to find out how many brands they see daily.

Brands are everywhere - on buses, buildings and even rooftops - and children are exposed to 554 brands a day.

"It's hard to avoid, and it's definitely scary," one parent told Newshub while another said: "You don't want kids growing up wanting lots of crappy stuff."

Another said: "It sounds like a lot to me." 

In 2014 researchers put body cameras on 168 Kiwi kids aged 11-13 to test their exposure to marketing.

It showed children are exposed to the most brands at school and home but also on billboards and stores.

"There were 68 junk food ads a day, more than twice the ads we thought before," co-author of the study from Otago University Louise Signal told Newshub. "It's no wonder we have an obesity epidemic."

The study is believed to be a world-first with the children's body cams capturing more than 3500 different brands in total.

"It's an absolute concern because it's driving over-consumption which is really bad for the climate crisis we're currently in," Signal said. 

The top 10 brands children were exposed to included Nike, Adidas, Coca-Cola and Samsung. 

Since the study's data was collected, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has created a new code.

"We introduced a rule that restricts advertising, in fact, it prohibits advertising targeting children under 14 with food and beverage ads," ASA chief executive Hilary Souter told Newshub.

And the ASA is confident it's working.

"I think that advertisers are much more aware than perhaps they used to be," Souter said.  

The United Nations wanted to see less commercial marketing - like billboards - and has called for advertising to be kept out of areas like schools.

But almost half of the marketing exposure the study found was through brand labels, which is harder to ban.

"You don't have a huge amount of control because it's everywhere," one parent told Newshub. 

And it's not going anywhere anytime soon.

Watch the full story above. 

Sign up to receive news updates

By entering your email address, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Newshub and its affiliates may use your email address to provide updates/news, ads, and offers. To withdraw your consent or learn more about your rights, see the Privacy Policy.