Okay, I’m still ranting about the ethics of marketing junk food to youngsters. This practice truly bothers me, and I can honestly say that I would never work for a company and/or product that I do not believe in. That said, have you all seen the television spots regarding the “goodness” of high fructose corn syrup? They drive me insane.
Being a nutrition buff and a high-raw vegan, every little misconception about the health factor of high fructose corn syrup bugs me. According to the Web site, www.sweetsurprse.com, “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted high fructose corn syrup “Generally Recognized as Safe” status for use in food, and reaffirmed that ruling in 1996 after thorough review” (Sweetsurprise.com, n.d.). Does this sound convincing? Let’s take a look at the marketing tactics that are used in the campaign. First – the commercials. You can view the ads here: http://www.sweetsurprise.com/seeourads.php
Each of the ads feature a skeptical person that seems to assume that corn syrup is bad but cannot state why. The print ads mirror the television spots. All in all, I have to say that the marketing campaign is rather well thought out, and this upsets me even further. The marketing pros that worked on this campaign definitely knew how to resonate with the audience, as most people are not well educated when it comes to nutrition. They see and hear ads, and they believe them. According to the press kit on the Web site, this specific campaign is geared toward consumers aged 25 and older, particularly moms. As for the ethical side, the ads do urge moderation in consumption.
There’s an article on MSNBC from the Associated Press that I found to be interesting and informative regarding this marketing campaign and the falsities of it. “In 2006, the Sugar Association petitioned the FDA to clarify the definition of “natural,” complaining that its use in describing high-fructose corn syrup was misleading because corn’s original chemical state is altered significantly during processing into syrup” (2008). Unethical marketing tactics mislead consumers and in this case, it is a very dangerous practice because it deals directly with health. The healthcare industry will certainly benefit from this campaign paid for by corn farmers, but that’s about it.
To each his own, but don’t believe everything that you see or hear.
SweetSurpise.com (n.d.) Referenced November 16, 2008.
“Ads aimed at sweetening corn syrup’s image”. (2008). Referenced November 16, 2008. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26648177/