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Children and food advertising effects: When are they old enough to resist?. Jennifer L. Harris October 22, 2008. “Food marketing works” (IOM, 2006). Brand recall Brand preferences Requests to parents. But how does it work?. How?. Unhealthy Diet. Food Ads.

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children and food advertising effects when are they old enough to resist

Children and food advertising effects: When are they old enough to resist?

Jennifer L. Harris

October 22, 2008

food marketing works iom 2006
“Food marketing works”(IOM, 2006)
  • Brand recall
  • Brand preferences
  • Requests to parents
but how does it work
But how does it work?

How?

Unhealthy

Diet

Food

Ads

Implications for effective solutions and public policy

outline of discussion
Outline of discussion
  • Psychology of advertising effects
    • Intended effects
    • “Side effects”
  • Developmental differences
  • Potential solutions
food advertising effects
Food advertising effects

Most existing research is based on an information processing model

Explicit

Beliefs and

Attitudes

Unhealthy

Choices

Food

Ads

Source: IOM, 2006

information processing
Information processing

Serial approach to persuasion (McGuire, 1976)

Attention

Comprehension

Encoding

Memory

retrieval

Memory

storage

Agreement

Behavior

Decision

current advertising theory
Current advertising theory

Effects occur “Under-the-radar”

  • Classical conditioning (positive affect)
  • Mere exposure (Zajonc et al.)
  • Brand representations (Keller, 2003)
    • Core motivations
    • Popular events, characters, celebrities
    • Purchase and consumption occasions
brand representations
Brand representations

Attitudes: “object-evaluation associations in memory” (Fazio, 1986)

unhealthy

dieting

tasty

milk

Oreos

fun

Jessica

Biel

fattening

snack

family

current advertising theory9
Current advertising theory

Priming effects: Subtle cues in the environment (primes)

Automatically affect behavior,

outside of conscious awareness

Food advertising =

Real-world primes

when do children understand
When do children understand?

Age 7/8

Age 12

Attention

Comprehension

Encoding

Memory

retrieval

Memory

storage

Agreement

Behavior

Decision

Sources: John, 1999; Kunkel et al., 2004

are adolescents more susceptible
Are adolescents more susceptible?

According to alcohol and tobacco literature,

Adolescents are:

  • Less able to inhibit impulsive behavior and wait for longer-term rewards
  • More susceptible to peer influence and image advertising
  • More vulnerable to addiction

Source: Pechmann, Levine, Loughlin & Leslie (2005)

potential solutions
Potential solutions

How to defend against “under-the-radar” advertising effects?

  • It’s very difficult
  • Automatic acceptance (Gilbert, 1993)
  • Mindless processing (Chanowitz & Langer, 1981)
teaching advertising defenses
Teaching advertising defenses

Nonconscious mental contamination (Wilson & Brekke, 1994)

  • Awareness
  • Understanding
  • Motivation
  • Ability
proposed solutions
Proposed solutions

Media

Literacy

Nutrition

Education

Unhealthy

Choices

Food

Ads

  • Reduced
  • exposure
  • Television
  • Under 12 years
what about
What about?
  • Adolescents and adults
  • Other forms of advertising
    • Product placements
    • Sponsorships, co-branding, licensing
    • Internet
what is the policy question
What is the policy question?

At what age can children defend against advertising effects?

OR

At what age are we no longer obligated to protect youth from unhealthy advertising influence?

thank you
Thank you!

www.yaleruddcenter.org

priming obesity
Priming obesity

Taste

Perceptions

Evaluations

Food

Ads

Impulsive

Consumption

Unhealthy

Diet

Direct effects

Motivations

Consumption/

Nutrition

Goals

Source: Bargh & Morsella, 2008

children and food ads
Children and food ads
  • Increased amount consumed while watching by 45%
    • 93 kcal in 30 minutes

Harris, Bargh & Brownell, in press

adults and food ads
Adults and food ads

Increased snack food consumed after watching – snack ads only

Snack Ads

Nutrition Ads

Control

taste expectancies
Taste expectancies

Nutrition Info:

Calories: 100 Dietary Fiber: 6 g

Total Fat: 1.5 g Sugar: 9 g

Sodium: 140 mg Protein: 3 g

Healthy Description

These chocolaty muffins not only taste good, but they’re good for you too! Full of wholesome benefits, each wonderful muffin is made with all-natural ingredients and no artificial preservatives, flavors or colors. And every bit is filled with dark chocolate chips. Dark chocolate is a natural anti-oxidant, making them an even healthier choice. To top it all…

Hedonic Description

From the very first mouthful, you will love these chocolaty muffins. You are sure to enjoy the burst of intense chocolate flavor and wonderful chewy texture. These muffins are full of delectable chocolate chips that melt in your mouth in each bite. So sweet, delicious and satisfying. After only a taste you will find that they are scrumptious! The chewy texture…

tv viewing and diet
TV viewing and diet

.23**

High School

TV Viewing

Unhealthy

Diet

tv viewing and diet25
TV viewing and diet

Taste of

Unhealthy

Advertised Foods

.36**

.33**

.12

High School

TV Viewing

Unhealthy

Diet

(.23** direct)

food advertising to children
Food advertising to children
  • Rewards unhealthy behaviors
    • Snacking
    • Anywhere, any time
    • Fun, happiness, “cool”

Sources: Folta et al., 2006; Harrison & Marske, 2005; Reece, Rifon, & Rodriguez, 1999