Google, the Global Youth Obesity Crisis & its “Branded Entertainment” Division Deals with Pepsi and Burger King

Google’s top executives and corporate-responsibility concerned investors should consider the consequences of the online ad company’s major promotion of Burger King and Pepsi. Google is broadly distributing two new online programming series backed by either Burger King and Pepsi via its “branded entertainment” division. A new Pepsi-backed show called Poptub, notes, “resides on its own YouTube channel and is distributed through Google AdSense (via “Gadgets” or widgets), increasing the number of eyeballs for potential advertisers. Ad revenue will be split between Google, Pepsi-backed Embassy Row, and the website that hosted the clip.” CNET reports that Poptub features “perky hosts, amusing videos, promotional interviews, and a prominent Pepsi sponsorship.”

Google’s Burger King backed “Seth MacFarlane’s Cavalcade of Cartoon Comedy” is a huge online hit, Mediaweek reports. The YouTube based series “generated 14 million total views since their Sept. 9 debut across various syndication partners…One short, Super Mario Rescues The Princess, has amassed over 6 million views on YouTube alone…the Cavalcade channel was YouTube’s most popular during the week ending Sept. 12, generating millions of views in less than 48 hours… The first 10 of the MacFarlane-produced shorts are being sponsored by Burger King. The fast food company’s branded channel,, is now the second most popular sponsored channel of all time on YouTube.”

Hollywood Reporter explains that “Over at Burger King’s YouTube channel, a new application allows consumers to dub their voices in over the animation of select “Cavalcade” videos.”

Google role as a facilitator of unhealthy food products will become part of the global youth obesity and public health debate.

Author: jeff

Jeff Chester is executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. A former journalist and filmmaker, Jeff's book on U.S. electronic media politics, entitled "Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy" was published by The New Press in January 2007. He is now working on a new book about interactive advertising and the public interest.

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