IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/joreco/v59y2021ics0969698920314351.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Food advertising targeting children in India: Analysis and implications

Author

Listed:
  • Mehta, Ritu
  • Bharadwaj, Apoorva

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Mehta, Ritu & Bharadwaj, Apoorva, 2021. "Food advertising targeting children in India: Analysis and implications," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 59(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:joreco:v:59:y:2021:i:c:s0969698920314351
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jretconser.2020.102428
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969698920314351
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jretconser.2020.102428?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lan Nguyen Chaplin & Deborah Roedder John, 2007. "Growing up in a Material World: Age Differences in Materialism in Children and Adolescents," Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Research Inc., vol. 34(4), pages 480-493, June.
    2. Marie-Claire Robitaille & Ishita Chatterjee, 2018. "Sex-selective Abortions and Infant Mortality in India: The Role of Parents’ Stated Son Preference," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 54(1), pages 47-56, January.
    3. Boush, David M & Friestad, Marian & Rose, Gregory M, 1994. "Adolescent Skepticism toward TV Advertising and Knowledge of Advertiser Tactics," Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Research Inc., vol. 21(1), pages 165-175, June.
    4. Moore, Elizabeth S & Lutz, Richard J, 2000. "Children, Advertising, and Product Experiences: A Multimethod Inquiry," Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Research Inc., vol. 27(1), pages 31-48, June.
    5. Simon Hudson & David Hudson & John Peloza, 2008. "Meet the Parents: A Parents’ Perspective on Product Placement in Children’s Films," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 80(2), pages 289-304, June.
    6. Fred Arnold & Sunita Kishor & T. K. Roy, 2002. "Sex‐Selective Abortions in India," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 28(4), pages 759-785, December.
    7. Rohini Pande & Nan Astone, 2007. "Explaining son preference in rural India: the independent role of structural versus individual factors," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 26(1), pages 1-29, February.
    8. Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Cochrane, Tom, 2010. "Where Have All the Young Girls Gone? Identification of Sex Selection in India," IZA Discussion Papers 5381, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Milazzo, Annamaria, 2018. "Why are adult women missing? Son preference and maternal survival in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 467-484.
    10. Kolbe, Richard H & Burnett, Melissa S, 1991. "Content-Analysis Research: An Examination of Applications with Directives for Improving Research Reliability and Objectivity," Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Research Inc., vol. 18(2), pages 243-250, September.
    11. Chloe Michel & Michelle Sovinsky & Eugenio Proto & Andrew J. Oswald, 2019. "Advertising as a Major Source of Human Dissatisfaction: Cross-National Evidence on One Million Europeans," Springer Books, in: Mariano Rojas (ed.), The Economics of Happiness, chapter 0, pages 217-239, Springer.
    12. Ramesh Kumar Miryala, 2011. "Advertisements’ Effect on Food Habits of Children – An Empirical Study," Indian Journal of Commerce and Management Studies, Educational Research Multimedia & Publications,India, vol. 2(4), pages 38-49, May.
    13. Aysen Bakir & Scott Vitell, 2010. "The Ethics of Food Advertising Targeted Toward Children: Parental Viewpoint," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 91(2), pages 299-311, January.
    14. Monica Das Gupta & Jiang Zhenghua & Li Bohua & Xie Zhenming & Woojin Chung & Bae Hwa-Ok, 2003. "Why is Son preference so persistent in East and South Asia? a cross-country study of China, India and the Republic of Korea," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(2), pages 153-187.
    15. M. Sirgy & Eda Gurel-Atay & Dave Webb & Muris Cicic & Melika Husic & Ahmet Ekici & Andreas Herrmann & Ibrahim Hegazy & Dong-Jin Lee & J. Johar, 2012. "Linking Advertising, Materialism, and Life Satisfaction," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 107(1), pages 79-101, May.
    16. Andreyeva, Tatiana & Kelly, Inas Rashad & Harris, Jennifer L., 2011. "Exposure to food advertising on television: Associations with children's fast food and soft drink consumption and obesity," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 221-233, July.
    17. Brucks, Merrie & Armstrong, Gary M & Goldberg, Marvin E, 1988. "Children's Use of Cognitive Defenses against Television Advertising: A Cognitive Response Approach," Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Research Inc., vol. 14(4), pages 471-482, March.
    18. Marie-Claire Robitaille, 2013. "Determinants of Stated Son Preference in India: Are Men and Women Different?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(5), pages 657-669, May.
    19. Mariano Rojas (ed.), 2019. "The Economics of Happiness," Springer Books, Springer, number 978-3-030-15835-4, June.
    20. Paul M. Connell & Merrie Brucks & Jesper H. Nielsen, 2014. "How Childhood Advertising Exposure Can Create Biased Product Evaluations That Persist into Adulthood," Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Research Inc., vol. 41(1), pages 119-134.
    21. Jason Abrevaya, 2009. "Are There Missing Girls in the United States? Evidence from Birth Data," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 1-34, April.
    22. Yann Verhellen & Caroline Oates & Patrick Pelsmacker & Nathalie Dens, 2014. "Children’s Responses to Traditional Versus Hybrid Advertising Formats: The Moderating Role of Persuasion Knowledge," Journal of Consumer Policy, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 235-255, June.
    23. Apoorva Bharadwaj & Ritu Mehta, 2017. "Annihilating or perpetuating the gender stereotype? An analysis of Indian television advertisements," DECISION: Official Journal of the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Springer;Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, vol. 44(3), pages 179-191, September.
    24. Siwan Anderson & Debraj Ray, 2010. "Missing Women: Age and Disease," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 77(4), pages 1262-1300.
    25. Kassarjian, Harold H, 1977. "Content Analysis in Consumer Research," Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Research Inc., vol. 4(1), pages 8-18, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Filipovic, Jelena, 2023. "Television food ads aimed at children in South-Eastern Europe: Cultural outlook and implications," Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Milazzo, Annamaria, 2018. "Why are adult women missing? Son preference and maternal survival in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 467-484.
    2. Ebert, Cara & Vollmer, Sebastian, 2022. "Girls unwanted – The role of parents’ child-specific sex preference for children’s early mental development," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    3. S Anukriti & Sonia Bhalotra & Eddy H F Tam, 2022. "On the Quantity and Quality of Girls: Fertility, Parental Investments and Mortality," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 132(641), pages 1-36.
    4. Asadullah, M. Niaz & Mansoor, Nazia & Randazzo, Teresa & Wahhaj, Zaki, 2021. "Is son preference disappearing from Bangladesh?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    5. Anukriti, S & Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Tam, Hiu, 2016. "On the Quantity and Quality of Girls: New Evidence on Abortion, Fertility, and Parental Investments," IZA Discussion Papers 10271, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Goli, Srinivas & Arora, Somya & Jain, Neha & Sekher, TV, 2022. "Patrilocality and Child Sex Ratios in India," SocArXiv 7qxyp, Center for Open Science.
    7. Bhalotra, Sonia & Chakravarty, Abhishek & Gulesci, Selim, 2020. "The price of gold: Dowry and death in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    8. Milazzo, Annamaria, 2014. "Son preference, fertility and family structure : evidence from reproductive behavior among Nigerian women," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6869, The World Bank.
    9. Goli, Srinivas & Arora, Somya & Jain, Neha & Shekher, T V, 2022. "Patrilocality and Child Sex Ratios in India," MPRA Paper 111905, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Leeson, Peter T. & Suarez, Paola A., 2017. "Child brides," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 40-61.
    11. Heather Congdon Fors & Annika Lindskog, 2023. "Son preference and education Inequalities in India: the role of gender-biased fertility strategies and preferential treatment of boys," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 36(3), pages 1431-1460, July.
    12. Abhishek Singh & Ashish Kumar Upadhyay & Kaushalendra Kumar & Ashish Singh & Fiifi Amoako Johnson & Sabu S. Padmadas, 2022. "Spatial heterogeneity in son preference across India’s 640 districts: An application of small-area estimation," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 47(26), pages 793-842.
    13. S Anukriti & Sungoh Kwon & Nishith Prakash, 2018. "Household Savings and Marriage Payments: Evidence from Dowry in India," Working papers 2018-09, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    14. Qianqian Shang & Quanbao Jiang & Yongkun Yin, 2022. "How Does Children's Sex Affect Parental Sex Preference: Preference Adaptation and Learning," Working Papers wp2022_2202, CEMFI.
    15. Neha Jain, 2022. "Patrilocality and Child Sex Ratios in India," Working Papers 2265, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade.
    16. Silvia Helena Barcellos & Leandro S. Carvalho & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2014. "Child Gender and Parental Investments in India: Are Boys and Girls Treated Differently?," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 157-189, January.
    17. Sonia Bhalotra & Abhishek Chakravarty & Dilip Mookherjee & Francisco J. Pino, 2019. "Property Rights and Gender Bias: Evidence from Land Reform in West Bengal," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 205-237, April.
    18. Alexander Stimpfle & David Stadelmann, 2016. "Does Central Europe Import the Missing Women Phenomenon?," CREMA Working Paper Series 2016-04, Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA).
    19. Adriana D. Kugler & Santosh Kumar, 2017. "Preference for Boys, Family Size, and Educational Attainment in India," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 54(3), pages 835-859, June.
    20. Sivadasan, Jagadeesh & Xu, Wenjian, 2021. "Missing women in India: Gender-specific effects of early-life rainfall shocks," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 148(C).

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:joreco:v:59:y:2021:i:c:s0969698920314351. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-retailing-and-consumer-services .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.