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Characteristics of food advergames that reach children and the nutrient quality of the foods they advertise

Hye-Jin Paek (Department of Advertising & Public Relations, Hanyang University, Kyeonggi-do, South Korea)
Elizabeth Taylor Quilliam (Department of Advertising PR & Retailing, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)
Sookyong Kim (Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)
Lorraine J. Weatherspoon (Department of Food Science & Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)
Nora J. Rifon (Department of Advertising PR & Retailing, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)
Mira Lee (College of Business Administration, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, South Korea)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 28 January 2014

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the content of food advergames and the nutritional quality of foods promoted in those advergames with the presence of child visitors.

Design/methodology/approach

This study integrates three different sources of data, first, characteristics of the audience from internet audience measurement metrics; second, an analysis of food advergame content; and third, an analysis of the dietary quality of the foods in advergames.

Findings

The results show that 83.2 percent of the total 143 advergames are sponsored by CFBAI participating companies and 79.5 percent of the total 44 advergames reaching children are sponsored by those companies. About 87 percent of the advergames reaching children do not include age limit specification. By contrast, about 71 percent of the advergames reaching children include ad breaks and about half of the advergames reaching children include healthy lifestyle information. Compared to the total, advergames reaching children seem to have a higher level of brand integration. Moreover, most foods that the advergames promote are classified as unhealthy. Finally, the results show that ad breaks and number of brand identifiers are the two significant predictors of food advergames with child unique visitors.

Originality/value

Despite the increased attention to and scrutiny of innovative and interactive food marketing targeting children, little is known about the extent to which such techniques actually reach children, nor about the content and nutritional quality of foods they promote. This study attempts to fill in the gap by focussing on food advergames.

Keywords

Citation

Paek, H.-J., Taylor Quilliam, E., Kim, S., J. Weatherspoon, L., J. Rifon, N. and Lee, M. (2014), "Characteristics of food advergames that reach children and the nutrient quality of the foods they advertise", Internet Research, Vol. 24 No. 1, pp. 63-81. https://doi.org/10.1108/IntR-02-2013-0018

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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