Product, promotion, or audience? Exploring concerns associated with the promotion of unhealthy food and beverages to children and adolescents

Jackson, M, Harrison, P, Swinburn, B and Lawrence, M 2014, 'Product, promotion, or audience? Exploring concerns associated with the promotion of unhealthy food and beverages to children and adolescents', in Proceedings from the 47th Academy of Marketing Conference, Bournemouth, United Kingdom, 8-11 July 2014, pp. 1-13.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title Product, promotion, or audience? Exploring concerns associated with the promotion of unhealthy food and beverages to children and adolescents
Author(s) Jackson, M
Harrison, P
Swinburn, B
Lawrence, M
Year 2014
Conference name The 47th Academy of Marketing Conference
Conference location Bournemouth, United Kingdom
Conference dates 8-11 July 2014
Proceedings title Proceedings from the 47th Academy of Marketing Conference
Publisher Academy of Marketing
Place of publication United Kingdom
Start page 1
End page 13
Total pages 13
Abstract The promotion of unhealthy foods and beverages to children and adolescents has been debated among marketers, the food and everage industry, and public health professionals. Concerns have been raised regarding promotional methods used and the products being marketed. This paper proposes a new way of exploring and explaining this issue by focusing on the variables of product, promotion, and consumer vulnerability. Interviews with public health professionals, and marketers and members of the food and beverage industry inform this work. Drawing on the use of matrices and spectra to represent the interplay of multiple variables, a three-dimensional model is proposed that highlights how this issue is situated at the nexus of concerns relating to each of unhealthy food and beverage products, controversial promotional approaches, and an audience perceived as vulnerable. This paper offers a new way of exploring food and beverage promotion to children and adolescents and helps to clarify why some instances of this practice are more problematic than others. The use of a qualitative approach enables the complexity and nuance associate with this issue to be captured. Opportunities for further research include verifying or refining the model presented, or adapting it to other social or ethical issues relevant to contemporary marketers or policy makers.
Subjects Marketing Communications
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