There will be a lot of information to process.
Among the documents the companies have to fork over, according to the requests, is how much they spend on a variety of marketing, including TV and radio advertising, Internet sites, product placement, viral marketing and word of mouth.
They will have to break out expenditures for children and adolescents, provide reports of market research, describe any healthy-diet initiatives or policies regarding limits on food advertising to kids and adolescents and reveal whether they have targeted any of that marketing by race, gender, ethnicity or income, and a lot more.
The companies that will have to produce that information for the three-year study include Burger King, Campbell, Chiquita, Coke, Dole, Kellogg, Procter & Gamble, Pepsi, Red Bull, Sunkist, Wendy’s, McDonald's, Kraft, Mars and a host of others.
The FTC in June released an analysis of the existing date on food advertising and concluded that the number of TV ads for “junk” foods that kids see has not increased over the past 30 years -- a conclusion that pleased the ad industry.
Long before the FTC is ready with its report, Congress is scheduled to hear from a government-industry task force with its own recommendations on kids’ food marketing.