IIMS Journal of Management Science
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Shweta Garg1, Manish Sharma2

Article Information Volume 5, Issue 2 July-December, 2014

1Shweta Garg is a Marketing Consultant for Synergy Healthcare. She has also obtained a B.Tech degree in Dairy Technology from the National Dairy Research Institute, India’s premier dairy science college, and a PGDM from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmadabad (IIMA). At IIMA, she also worked with OXFAM GB on a project ‘To study the market for Organic Food Products in India’. She can be reached at 5shwetag@iimahd.ernet.in.

2Manish Sharma is an Assistant Professor (Marketing Area) at Doon Business School, Dehradun and a doctoral Student at the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi, and is working on ‘A comparative study on Market and Marketing of Functional Food in India and Europe’. He has obtained a B.Tech degree in Dairy Technology from the National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, and a PGDM from the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow. He has 5 years of academic experience at various B-schools in India and is a visiting guest lecturer at the Lahti University of Applied Sciences, Finland. He can be reached at sharmamanish29@gmail.com.


This paper is an analysis of the content of children-targeted food advertisements on the Indian television (TV), with an objective of studying the promotion of health or a lack thereof. We used content analysis technique to analyse 64 h of children’s TV advertisements for food (1166 advertisements). The content categories and their codes were created from the literature. Frequencies of the content categories were recorded and statistically analysed using cross-tabulation and chi-square analysis. The study found heavy promotion of junk food with high sugar content to the children, ignoring the recommended dietary guidelines. Most advertisement used the taste and health appeal, had straight-sell execution style and contained no disclaimers. Celebrity endorsement, animation and price discounts were selectively used in the promotion. Foods with faster-growth-related health claims were promoted by food multinational companies and pharmaceutical companies. Ayurveda-based food products were also promoted. This research is of immediate concern to the public health authority and advertising regulators as the findings point at lack of control on both the nature of the products promoted and the manner in which they are promoted. The sample was limited to a network of three national channels with high viewership and the regional channels were not considered. The study provides fresh child-specific advertising insights of a relatively unexplored but significant market to the food marketers.


Food, Advertisement, Children, Content analysis, Indian, Obesity

JEL Classification: M38, I18, D18


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