A coalition of consumer groups have filed complaints with the Federal Trade Commission about PepsiCo's marketing of its Doritos brand, saying the company is targeting teenagers through online video game platforms.
Since Doritos aren't exactly a diet-friendly snack option and the childhood obesity rate in America is still a cause for concern, the groups are claiming PepsiCo should stay away from marketing to children and teens.
In an email to PRWeek, Aurora Gonzalez, Frito-Lay spokesperson, stated, "We are aware of the filing to the FTC and believe it contains numerous inaccuracies and mischaracterizations. PepsiCo and its Frito-Lay division are committed to responsible and ethical marketing practices. Our marketing programs, which are often innovative, comply with applicable law and regulations."
Pepsi also uses the video game space to promote its Mountain Dew brand. The company will soon re-release Mountain Dew Game Fuel in partnership with “Call of Duty” and “Modern Warfare 3.” It is also planning to use special promotions and game codes on soft-drink bottles.
Even if consumers don't approve of this type of marketing, they may have to get used to it because the FTC recently pulled back on its food marketing regulations for children. For instance, companies can continue to include cartoon characters on cereal boxes. However, the government is still reviewing and revising the food guidelines.