Consumer behavior based preferences are used by marketers to engage and hold the attention of their audience. The article ‘Appetite’ focuses on consumer behavior with respect to the marketing of foods and alcoholic beverages to children. It discusses two main concerns, first the regulation which has been introduced and which will need to be improved on when it comes to advertisements or promotional messages that directly try to influence children as consumers. The second important concern is that of how these advertisements can itself be framed, what would be permissible and the landscape of the food industry that makes food profiling based on nutrients complex enough for analysis and advertisements.
On an international level, regulation on advertisements that impinge on the child consumer preferences, have been advocated for by means of the World Health Organization WHO, other non-Governmental organizations and more. The marketing that is available via technology reaches children faster and it is necessary for Governments to work and present framewokrs that will to a certain extent ensure that children are insulated from these advertisements. This could be direct statutory warning style enforcement on advertisements (Boyland, et al., 2011). However research on such statutory regimes seems to indicate that even these might not have much impact. Here the nature of the advertisements is what needs to be regulated and a statutory warning alone might not have much of a beneficial impact when it comes to influencing consumer behavior.
Television advertisements such as that indicated by Culp, Bell and Cassady (2010) are more connected with brand identifiers that are either a part of websites such as Nickelodeon or Cartoon network or the show elements portrayed on such channels. These engage the child consumer more. This becomes a challenge for regulation. Here consumer engagement that is created could very well become a lifelong choice preference as the consumer is in their more influential phase of life. Nutrient profiling is one technique that is researched to be useful for ensuring that some form of awareness can be created through advertisements also. This would balance the consumer engagement. How far would this be useful is something that has to be analyzed through further research, as this article indicates that in its crudest sense the food could be divided into good and bad based on the nutrient levels, however even in its finest sense, the food categories, composition and the method to actually categorize the food elements becomes a challenge.