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Title: The marketing of food to children : moving the debate beyond television advertising
Author: Newman, Nicola Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2740 0186
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2012
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Whilst food marketing to children has been heavily discussed in both the political and marketing arenas over the past few years, it has predominately concentrated on television advertising. However, it is now recognised that contemporary marketers are moving away from television advertising and expanding their range of communications. Therefore, this thesis looks to widen the debate to other forms of food marketing communications. From previous literature and four background interviews a conceptual framework is developed which highlights the importance of four parties: the food companies (and their communication agencies), the regulatory bodies, parents and children. The first two parties are predominantly investigated using secondary data, whilst the primary research for this study concentrates on the second two parties. As such fourteen qualitative family interviews with children aged between seven and eleven are undertaken. From my findings, the original conceptual framework is developed into an expanded framework. The framework has four sections. The first section details seventeen types of communications currently being used by the UK food industry. The second shows four types of restrictions (two frequency restrictions and two impact restrictions) which parents use to mediate some of these communications. The third section confirms that children possess differing levels of understanding across the range of communications. Finally the fourth section highlights (1) that there are five communications (television advertising, free gifts, price promotions, tie-ins with television, film and cartoon characters and children's speciality foods) which children perceive they encounter frequently and which have an impact on their purchase requests and (2) that there are seven communications (print advertising, product placement in television and films, product placement in video games, online advertising, advergames, in-school communications and branded toys) which they perceive they infrequently encounter and which have little impact. Overall this thesis is, to my knowledge, the first to present a holistic consideration of the marketing of food to children in the UK. It not only includes a full range of communications but also all the complete process, from the food companies to the children.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available