Wednesday, 20 Mar 2019

Punchy and the Kool-Aid man: study shows how big tobacco marketed kids’ drinks

Study of previously sealed documents shows how tobacco companies adapted their advertising skills to win over children

Tobacco companies used their advertising skills to help market sugary drinks to kids – even inventing the single-serving juice box, according to a new study that looked at previously sealed documents.

The research, gathered by experts on the tobacco industry at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), tracks how two tobacco titans, RJ Reynolds and Philip Morris, adapted and sold their marketing strategies – including bright colors, flavors, and memorable brand characters – to promote popular drinks such as Kool-Aid and Capri Sun to children. Tobacco companies were forced to disclose the documents after lawsuits in the 1990s.

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