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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2000

Debra Harker

As the most visible element of the marketing communications mix advertising has had its critics over the years and developed countries usually opt for a self‐regulatory…

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3069

Abstract

As the most visible element of the marketing communications mix advertising has had its critics over the years and developed countries usually opt for a self‐regulatory approach to deal with unacceptable advertising. The recent breakdown of one of the world’s longest established advertising self‐regulatory programs in Australia has reopened the 20 year‐old debate that has taken place in the leading academic and business journals concerned with improving the effectiveness of such regulatory systems. One of the key changes in this area is the increasing dominance of the rival advertisers in the complaints process. This article presents a model of effective advertising self‐regulation and reports on the key findings of an Australian study. The empirical work, utilising a mix of qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques, succeeds in making both a practical and theoretical contribution to this important area.

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Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2008

Debra Harker

The purpose of this paper is to examine the regulatory options available to control advertising on the internet.

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5672

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the regulatory options available to control advertising on the internet.

Design/methodology/approach

The analytical framework for this study was derived from Harker and colleagues' work on effective advertising self‐regulation (ASR). The key areas of the legal regulatory framework, the self‐regulatory framework, prevailing community standards, and industry compliance were examined in the context of the internet; the focus being the achievement of acceptable advertising. Dick's convergent interviewing techniques were utilised during a number of depth interviews with key stakeholders and the data were analysed using Strauss' and Strauss and Corbin's guidelines.

Findings

This qualitative approach allowed great insight to be gained in a “messy” area. A number of regulatory options are suggested, ranging along a continuum from full control to no control. Whilst controlling advertising on traditional media is moving towards best practice, the dynamic context of the internet provides new challenges for all stakeholders in terms of consumer protection.

Research limitations/implications

A significant limitation of any research concerned with the internet relates to the currency of information, and this is difficult to account for in this dynamic environment.

Originality/value

Whilst there have been many research papers describing approaches to traditional ASR, there is little to guide us when it comes to options for controlling online advertising. This paper has attempted to push the research boundary a little further in this regard and is meant to be a paper that will hopefully stimulate other research colleagues to challenge ideas and the traditional view.

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Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2002

Michael Volkov, Debra Harker and Michael Harker

Advertising expenditure has risen globally and in Australia there has been a 2.7‐fold increase in the last ten years. It is suggested that some advertisements may be…

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2943

Abstract

Advertising expenditure has risen globally and in Australia there has been a 2.7‐fold increase in the last ten years. It is suggested that some advertisements may be “unacceptable”, that is, unfair, misleading, deceptive, offensive, false or socially irresponsible. This research is concerned with consumer behaviour and consumer complaint behaviour specifically in the area of advertising in Australia. The findings indicate that complainants are significantly different from the population at large. This research will afford the regulatory bodies a better understanding of the complaining public as well as educating marketing communications strategists in effectively reaching their target markets.

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Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2008

Rebecca O'Hara, Debra Harker, Maria Raciti and Michael Harker

Risky and high‐risk alcohol consumption is prevalent amongst young females and university students. Relatively little research in Australia has focused on these groups…

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1716

Abstract

Purpose

Risky and high‐risk alcohol consumption is prevalent amongst young females and university students. Relatively little research in Australia has focused on these groups. This study aims to use social marketing and consumer behavior principles to examine the attitudinal, normative and demographic factors which influence alcohol consumption amongst 18‐24‐year‐old, female university students.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 230 female students in this age group were surveyed utilizing a personally administered, self‐report questionnaire. These participants were categorized as either low risk alcohol consumers (n=122) or high‐risk alcohol consumers (n=108).

Findings

The findings from this research indicate that a mixture of attitudinal, normative and demographic factors influence alcohol consumption amongst young, female university students.

Originality/value

This study aids in the development of targeted interventions to mitigate risky and high‐risk alcohol consumption amongst this cohort.

Details

Young Consumers, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-3616

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2005

Michael Volkov, Debra Harker and Michael Harker

The purpose of this article is to bring together established research in the field of consumer complaint responses: to contextualise this research into the area of…

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1635

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to bring together established research in the field of consumer complaint responses: to contextualise this research into the area of complaints about advertising in Australia; and to empirically test the proposition that it is possible to construct a profile of complainants about advertising in Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

Postcodes obtained from the Advertising Standards Board complaints database were entered into Pacific Micromarketing's MOSAIC software, which uses data at the postcode level to cluster individuals into homogeneous groups.

Findings

Characteristics shared among consumers who engage in “amplified voicing” include above average income levels, above average disposable income levels, higher than average education levels, professional and associate professional occupations, middle‐ to late‐middle‐aged household heads and above average representation of working women. Their interests tend towards culture, technology, entertaining, sport, food and fashion.

Research limitations/implications

Complainants seem to be unrepresentative of those most likely to be disadvantaged by “unacceptable” advertising. It is suggested that it now falls to advertising professionals and marketing academics to encourage greater involvement of all members of Australian society in the current complaints process and build wider understanding of practices that contravene the regulatory system.

Originality/value

This study investigates the effects of advertising on consumers and hence on society in general, and examines the changing nature and structure of the advertising self‐regulatory system in Australia. Though based on fieldwork in Australia, it provides an international perspective, and is potentially transferable to other societies.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2007

Michael Harker and Debra Harker

The pharmaceutical industry is a leader in research and development investment. New treatments need to be communicated to the market, and consumers are increasingly…

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1680

Abstract

Purpose

The pharmaceutical industry is a leader in research and development investment. New treatments need to be communicated to the market, and consumers are increasingly interested in learning about new drugs. Direct to consumer advertising of prescription medicines (DTCA) is a controversial practice where many of the arguments for and against are not supported by strong evidence. This paper aims to contribute to a research agenda that is forming in this area.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reports on a systematic review that was conducted and applies accepted theoretical models to the DTCA context. The systematic review methodology is widely accepted in the medical sector and is successfully applied here in the marketing field.

Findings

The hierarchy of effects model is specifically applied to DTCA with a clear emphasis on consumer rights, empowerment, protection and knowledge.

Originality/value

This paper provides healthcare practitioners with insight into how consumers process DTCA messages and provides guidance into how to assist in this message processing.

Details

Leadership in Health Services, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1879

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2008

Tegan Piggford, Maria Raciti, Debra Harker and Michael Harker

Understanding the drivers of young adults' healthy food choices is vital to addressing the public health issue of obesity. The healthy eating motives that underlay such…

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2813

Abstract

Purpose

Understanding the drivers of young adults' healthy food choices is vital to addressing the public health issue of obesity. The healthy eating motives that underlay such consumer choice behavior are particularly important to the well‐being of society. This research is novel in that it aims to investigate the food motives of young Australian adults in relation to five socio‐demographic factors, namely place of residence, gender, age, gross income and work hours. While overseas studies have examined some of these factors, the Australian context and its nuances is one that is notably absent. Thus, this research aims to provide meaningful contributions to the extant literature from an Australian perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

For this study of 18 to 24‐year‐old Australians, quantitative data from a total of 310 respondents (93.7 percent response rate) were collected using quota sampling.

Findings

The paper finds that gender and work hours significantly influenced food motives; however, place of residence, age and gross income while successful with young adults in other countries, did not influence healthy food choices in Australia.

Research limitations/implications

While the findings corroborate some aspects of overseas studies, they contradict others and also add new information. Collectively, they contribute useful insights for social marketing intervention strategies concerned with influencing food choice among young Australian consumers.

Originality/value

This study indicates that intervention campaigns that are based upon residence, age and gross income in relation to healthy eating, while possibly successful with young adults in other countries, are likely to be ineffective in Australia.

Details

Young Consumers, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-3616

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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2009

Bishnu Sharma, Michael Harker, Debra Harker and Karin Reinhard

This aim of this study is to investigate whether food choice varies by the place of residence (dependent or independent) of a group of young adults.

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1985

Abstract

Purpose

This aim of this study is to investigate whether food choice varies by the place of residence (dependent or independent) of a group of young adults.

Design/methodology/approach

A self‐administered questionnaire was used to collect quantitative data from 305 German students between the ages of 18 to 24 years.

Findings

It was found that students who lived in the family home consumed more helpings of both fruit and vegetables each day, compared with young adults who lived independently. Further, higher proportions of dependent students ate more servings of every food group each day compared with their independent counterparts. It was also found that there is a significant difference in mood, weight concern and attitudes towards healthy eating between students under 21‐years‐old and those above 21‐years‐old.

Research limitations/implications

The research was a cross‐sectional study of a selected group of German university students from a single campus that was based on a quota sample and assessed self‐reported behaviour on a self‐administered questionnaire. While the limitations associated with these aspects of research design affect the generalizability of the findings, they, nonetheless, do not detract from the strengths and novelty of the research.

Practical implications

In terms of education, campaigns may consider focusing on improving the attitude toward healthy eating among young German adults who live in a dependent arrangement within the family home, perhaps encouraging the young adult to be an influencer in food purchases. Furthermore, it is suggested that social marketing campaigns that educate young adults about food‐related activities, such as budgeting, preparation and cooking, in readiness for, or in the early stages of, their transition to independent living would yield positive results. The motivation component of social marketing may also be informed by the research findings. Specifically, persuasive messages that correspond with Sheth and Frazier's inducement process may encourage healthier eating.

Originality/value

Being a relatively unexplored area, the findings are novel and provide valuable insights for the implementation of an inducement process for planned social change as well as informing the education and motivation elements of intervention strategies.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 111 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 27 April 2012

Robert Crawford and Ruth Spence‐Stone

This paper seeks to develop a clearer understanding of the operations and decisions made by Australian advertising standards bodies, the Advertising Standards Council and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to develop a clearer understanding of the operations and decisions made by Australian advertising standards bodies, the Advertising Standards Council and its successor, the Advertising Standards Board. It also seeks to identify whose interests have been served by these advertising standards organisations – those of the public or those of the advertising industry.

Design/methodology/approach

Using annual reports and reports in mainstream press outlets, this paper compares the two advertising standards bodies, their respective organisational structures, and their decisions, in order to identify the key issues that have confronted Australia's advertising regulation bodies.

Findings

In addition to demonstrating the fundamental similarities between the Advertising Standards Council and the Advertising Standards Board, this paper raises serious questions about self‐regulation and the way that it serves the advertising industry's interests ahead of the public interest.

Originality/value

This is the first long‐term comparative survey of the operations, activities and decisions of the Advertising Standards Council and the Advertising Standards Board that also reveals the fundamental shortcomings of the current advertising standards codes.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1998

Debra Harker

Advertising is the most visible element of modern marketing, however it is often accused by its critics of being intrusive and pervasive, and neither of these accusations…

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8847

Abstract

Advertising is the most visible element of modern marketing, however it is often accused by its critics of being intrusive and pervasive, and neither of these accusations can be refuted by a worldwide industry which spends billions of dollars each year reaching and persuading its target markets through daily bombardment of hundreds, if not thousands, of advertisements in most developed countries. In this article a conceptual framework of “acceptable advertising” is presented, discussed, and used to analyse the regulation of advertising in five countries around the world. The exercise succeeds in enhancing our understanding about how to improve the acceptability of advertising in contemporary societies.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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