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Advertising Advances May Change Your Food Decisions

Recently grocers and restaurant chains have started to employ a sophisticated type of digital advertising. The videos and images influence a shopper's decisions as they browse supermarket aisles or wait in line to pay. At select Dunkin' Donuts in New York, people who order coffee in the morning see ads promoting breakfast items at the register. Then while they wait for their orders, the television screens show different images that encourage the customer to return for lunch. In Germany, grocer Metro Extra uses digital screens to sway a shopper. Certain goods have special tags attached to them, so when you grab a box of Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, the eye-level screen changes its message to display a sale price for, say, Wheaties.

At a time when shoppers are more cautious about how they spend their money, this could give certain food companies an edge. What do you think: Is this new advertising scheme brilliant, or does the technology to increase impulse buys creep you out?

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