Food advertising targeting children in India: Analysis and implications
Ritu Mehta and
Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 2021, vol. 59, issue C
In spite of advertising being severely critiqued for planting erroneous behavioral patterns in young children, there is limited research on advertising aimed at children in the Indian context. This study explores issues like gender representations, stereotypical portrayals, deployment of various appeals, persuasion tactics, and Indian advertising policies in the food commercials targeting Indian children. Hypotheses were developed based on socio-economic and cultural aspects specific to Indian ethos. Content analysis was carried out on commercials appearing on five major children's television channels in India. Results indicate that ads depict boys significantly more than girls, and demonstrate mother as the primary approver for choice of food. Additionally, results reveal that ads use familial settings more than other contexts. Emotional appeal is found to be more prevalent. However, unlike hypothesized, ads were not found to use scholastic or fantasy cues more than athletic or non-fantasy cues. The findings are examined through an ethical lens, and implications for various stakeholders are presented. The study provides advertising policy makers and executioners insights into ethically congruent communication strategies to be used for advertising to children.
Keywords: Advertising; Ethics; Children; Food; Persuasion; India (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:joreco:v:59:y:2021:i:c:s0969698920314351
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