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Advertising Restrictions and Competition in the Children's Breakfast Cereal Industry / Restrictions et compétition publicitaire dans l’industrie des céréales pour enfants

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  • C. Robert Clark

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    Abstract

    This paper takes advantage of the ban on advertising directed at children in the province of Quebec to study the effect of advertising in the children's breakfast cereal industry. Advertising is viewed alternatively as anti-competitive, if it increases brand loyalty, or as pro-competitive, if it acts a substitute for brand recognition. I construct a model of established and non-established brands in which advertising serves to inform consumers about the existence of brands. The model predicts that the effect of prohibiting advertising is to permit established brands to enjoy greater market share at the expense of newer and less well-known brands. This prediction is supported by the data: older, better-known brands have higher market share in Quebec than in regions where advertising is permitted and the opposite is true for non-established brands. This result suggests that in this market the effect of advertising cannot be to increase perceived product differentiation and reduce competition. Nous prenons avantage de l'interdiction de diffuser de la publicité à l'intention des enfants au Québec pour étudier l'effet de la publicité dans l'industrie des céréales. La publicité est considérée comme étant anti-concurrentielle si elle augmente la loyauté envers la marque, alors qu'elle est vue comme étant bénéfique pour la concurrence si elle agit comme un substitut à la reconnaissance de la marque. Nous construisons un modèle de marques établies et non-établies sur le marché où la publicité a pour but d'informer les consommateurs sur l'existence des marques. Le modèle prédit que toute prohibition de la publicité a pour conséquence de permettre aux marques établies d'augmenter leur part de marché au détriment de celles qui sont nouvelles et moins connues. Ce résultat est validé par les données. En effet, les marques les plus anciennes et les mieux connues ont des parts de marché plus élevées au Québec que dans les régions où la publicité est permise. L'inverse est vrai pour les marques non-établies. Notre résultat suggère que dans ce marché, la publicité ne peut pas augmenter la différenciation de produit et réduire la concurrence.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2003s-30.

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    Date of creation: 01 May 2003
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    Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2003s-30

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    Keywords: advertising restrictions; market concentration; established brands; Réglementation de la publicité; concurrence; marques établies;

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    1. Eckard, E Woodrow, Jr, 1991. "Competition and the Cigarette TV Advertising Ban," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 29(1), pages 119-33, January.
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    9. Nevo, Aviv, 1998. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-To-Eat Cereal Industry," Food Marketing Policy Center Research Reports 037, University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Charles J. Zwick Center for Food and Resource Policy.
    10. Grossman, Gene M & Shapiro, Carl, 1984. "Informative Advertising with Differentiated Products," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(1), pages 63-81, January.
    11. Kessides, Ioannis N, 1986. "Advertising, Sunk Costs, and Barriers to Entry," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(1), pages 84-95, February.
    12. Butters, Gerard R, 1977. "Equilibrium Distributions of Sales and Advertising Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 465-91, October.
    13. Amil Petrin, 2001. "Quantifying the Benefits of New Products: The Case of the Minivan," NBER Working Papers 8227, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Benham, Lee, 1972. "The Effect of Advertising on the Price of Eyeglasses," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 337-52, October.
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