FTC Seeks Kids TV Food Ad Figures

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The Federal Trade Commission is seeking comment on how best to collect industry information--like TV-ad dollars and strategies--on advertising to children for a congressionally mandated report.

Per the bill funding the FTC for 2006, the commission must submit a report to Congress on kids food marketing practices and expenditures. Pushing for that report was Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who has been highly critical of food-marketing practices in an age of rising childhood obesity.

The FTC is seeking help from the relevant industries on how such records are maintained and can be supplied for the report.

That information includes product placement, types of media used, total expenditures for each medium and for various categories and subcategories of foods, and much more.

The FTC points out that, since not all the information isn't public, it may have to compel the production of some records if they are not volunteered.

Commenters have until April 3 to weigh in. The deadline for the FTC report to Congress is July 1.

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