Effects and impact of online advertising and marketing on children’s health

Relevant literature on children’s health effects of online advertising and marketing

  • S. An, H Kang (2014) Advertising or Games?: Advergames on the Internet Gaming Sites targeting Children. In: International Journal of Advertising 33 (3): 509
    • In this study, exposure to advergames promoting HFSS products among children 7–12 years old was linked with increased consumption of HFSS products in general, not just the advertised brands or products. This study also found that children who were exposed to advergames promoting fruit subsequently consumed more fruit, but not at the expense of HFSS foods. In other words, children who played advergames promoting either healthy or unhealthy foods consumed more snacks than children who played games promoting non-food related products or did not play advergames at all. An and Kang (2014) has argued that the impact of advergames for unhealthy food products is potentially twofold: on the one hand these games promote the advertised brand or product, but on the other hand they also promote a type of food and eating habits that are nutritionally at odds with a recommended child diet.
  • N. Holmberg, H. Sandberg, et al. (2014) Advert Saliency Distracts Children’s Visual Attention During Task-Oriented Internet Use. In: Frontiers in Psychology (51).
    • Studies with Swedish teenagers using eye-movement tracking and in-depth interviews found that food and beverage advertising received more attention than other forms of advertising. The researchers suggest that this may be due to the perceived relevance of affordable and accessible food items compared to some of the other products and services that were advertised to them. It was further found that teenagers had a low awareness of the amount of advertising they had actually seen, and that they frequently understated that amount.
  • N. J. Rifon, E.T Quilliam, H. Paek, L.J Weatherspoon, S. Kim and K.C. Smreker (2014) Age Dependent Effects of Food Advergame Brand Integration and Interactivity. In: International Journal of Advertising. 33 (3): 475.
    • a recent American study found that after exposure to a cereal advergame, the younger children in the sample (5-7) were more likely to have positive expectations of the advertised brand’s taste and to believe that eating the advertised cereal would make them healthy. The authors express concern over the potential impact advergames for unhealthy food products could have on younger children’s perception of the nutritional quality of the product.
  • H. Sandberg, K. Gidlöf, et al. (2011) Children’s exposure to and perceptions of online advertising. In: International Journal of Communication 5: 29.
    • Unconscious effects of advertising