Omni Cassidy, PhD (Assistant Professor of Population Health, NYU Grossman School of Medicine), discusses the disproportionate targeting of Black youth by online advertising for unhealthy foods at #AskTheExperts webinar “Captive Market: Protecting Children in the New World of Online Advertising” on March 1, 2023.

[Dr. Omni Cassidy]: And so what research shows us is that Black youth are up to two times more likely to see food and beverage ads. And this is specifically when we’re talking about TV ads, and that the ads the Black youth see, tend to also be less healthy compared to other groups like their white counterparts. And it’s not just about disproportionate amount of exposure or the healthfulness of the ads, the ads themselves are also uniquely designed to target Black and other communities of color. So the themes within these ads are designed to appeal to Black – Black individuals, for example, using Black actors, celebrities, artists like you see in the photo on the left. Activities that may be attractive to Black individuals, like using hip hop music or other genres that tend to be more appealing.Companies are also attempting to support the economic advancement of Black groups and Black organizations. And while on the one hand, this is incredibly supportive and many young Black artists are able to – to get funding for some of their work in ways that were not possible 10 or 15 years ago. At the same time, though, it capitalizes on racial inequities because it is really the racial inequities that have caused the economic disadvantages to begin with. And food and beverage companies rarely acknowledge this and instead capitalize on it for their own gain.

View the full webinar

Ask the Experts—Webinar

Captive Market: Protecting Children in the New World of Online Advertising

How does hidden online advertising impact children's attitudes and behaviors? How and why is youth data collected, and what can or should be done to safeguard children online?

Social Media
Advertising and Marketing
Ethical Design
Media Literacy