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Food Companies Spend More on TV Ads Targeting Black Shoppers

A chef fries hamburgers on a griddle. 
Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Food companies have ramped up spending on TV commercials targeting black consumers while simultaneously cutting back their overall spending on advertising, according to a new study.

During a five-year period when both total and Spanish-language TV advertising by food companies fell 4 percent, TV marketing aimed at black Americans spiked more than 50 percent, according to a report from University of Connecticut’s Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity. Black teenagers saw more than twice as many ads for unhealthy foods compared to white teens in 2017, the study found.