Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Childhood obesity and television food advertising : advertising of healthy eating to adolescents guided by the principles of social marketing
Author: Sherrington, A. M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 7407
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2017
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Aim: Drawing upon fundamental principles of social marketing, this thesis approached food advertising from the perspective of adolescents. Through development of in-depth consumer understanding, the aim was to establish how to advertise healthy eating in ways that would resonate with them. Methodology: A three-year, longitudinal study was conducted with English and Swedish 12-14-year-olds. Using a social constructionist perspective, meaning was sought through an emphasis upon verbal and visual language. Varied and creative research methods explored their understanding of/relationship to food advertisements (focus groups/online discussion boards), perception of themselves as consumers (collage construction) and their own creative recommendations (advertisement design). Findings: The study found adolescents’ understanding of persuasive intent of food advertising to be still developing at age 12. When aged 14, the participants demonstrated unprompted criticism for a Coca-Cola advertisement. This criticism may have resulted from further consumer socialisation. Alternatively, the presence of a well-known brand for which the adolescents possessed both topic and agent knowledge may have enhanced their persuasion knowledge. However, 14-year-olds may remain vulnerable to persuasive attempts by less well-known brands. Adolescents’ discretionary spending tends not to prioritise healthy options, with fast food brands often central to the acquisition of social experiences within a peer-context. In such situations, persuasion knowledge/health literacy may be less relevant. The healthy eating advertisements designed by the adolescents indicated the importance of strong, issue-relevant message arguments (e.g. detailing benefits of a healthy diet/dangers from an unhealthy diet). Research limitations: Non-probability sampling means the findings remain specific to the particular fieldwork sites. The participant-designed advertisements represent concept ideas, with research investigating general reception of the message formats/advertising appeals needed to confirm their transferability. Practical implications: Numerous recommendations for policy and practice of relevance to food advertising targeting adolescents are provided. For instance, it is recommended that the UK Government extends the Change4Life campaign to offer a brand specifically for adolescents encouraging healthy eating and exercise, informed by relational thinking associated with social marketing. Sweden should consider adopting Ofcom’s ruling that HFSS (high fat/salt/sugar) advertising cannot target those under 16. Originality: Contributions to social cognitive theory (SCT) and research methodology are provided. For instance, Bandura’s (2004) model of SCT is extended to include key concepts of social marketing, providing a better fit with adolescents and healthy eating. A method of analysing consumer collages from a social constructionist perspective is introduced.
Supervisor: Oakes, S. ; Hunter-Jones, P. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral