[Editor's Note: This post has been updated to include a response from PepsiCo. --Genie]
On October 19, the Center for Digital Democracy, along with Consumer Action, Consumer Watchdog, and The Praxis Project, filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that asks that commission to investigate PepsiCo and its subsidiary, Frito-Lay, for deceptive marketing to kids—especially teenagers.
Usually, I do my Super Bowl ad rating, with my marketing-to-women hat on, by myself, but this time I wanted to see how effective the ads were with a variety of voters. I pulled together my own team to help with the rating of the spots: sons, ages 12, 14 and 17, and my daughter and her friend, both 15, and my husband and I. Call us the family room focus group. Each voter received three possible votes per spot: thumbs down, thumbs up or big smile. Thumbs up meant the spot was clever or amusing, but didn’t make a smile stick. For a smile to stick, that was the biggest compliment.