Cue Laugh Track

I know I shouldn’t laugh, but the following news from MediaPost is oddly amusing.

The Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Action, Consumer Watchdog, and The Praxis Project are complaining to the Federal Trade Commission that Doritos is harming teens by creating immersive game sites like Hotel626.com and Asylum626, without making clear the sites’ purpose is to advertise chips.

Both sites are clearly labeled “A Snack Strong Production,” but literacy is at the core of this issue, so let’s not assume that teens can read or comprehend what they read.

In the complaint, the groups say that statements by Frito-Lay and its ad agency, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, show that the company intended to “disguise advertising as entertainment because they know teens do not like advertising.” And that this type of immersive marketing is deceptive to teens, who are especially vulnerable to the “emotional arousal” created by the games.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.