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The Child's Understanding of Promotional Communication

Dr Brian Young (School of Psychology, University of Exeter EX4 4QG, UK)

International Journal of Advertising and Marketing to Children

ISSN: 1464-6676

Article publication date: 1 April 2000



Although there is an extensive literature on the child's understanding of the intent behind advertising, children's understanding of the promotional nature of advertising and marketing has been neglected. Promotional is defined as making positive claims about the product. Children aged from 4 to 9 years of age were presented with television commercials with different endings and asked which ending should be used when the ad is shown on TV. Results show that 4–5‐year‐olds chose the fun option that shows the product in a bad light but by 5–6 years of age children are rejecting this option in favour of the promotional ending and by 7–8 years less than 10% chose the fun option. These findings should inform the debate about regulating advertising to children as such regulation is based on children being able to distinguish advertising from programming.



Young, B. (2000), "The Child's Understanding of Promotional Communication", International Journal of Advertising and Marketing to Children, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 191-203.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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