Television alcohol advertising : do children really mean what they say?
Few studies have investigated children's responses to television alcohol advertising. Two separate studies evaluated the appeal of alcohol advertisements on children aged 7–10. An exploratory interview study (N=17) was carried out to assess children's verbal responses to both alcohol and non-alcohol advertisements and to elicit vocabulary to be used in the second study. Whilst the 7–8 years old children were very positive about the alcohol advertisements, older children did not like them, nor did they perceive them to be effective. The second study was designed to assess children's implicit knowledge, in view of developmental theory that knowledge is not always available for verbal report. This study (N=179) used a simple categorization programme on computer. Using this methodology, children of all ages liked the alcohol advertisements and perceived them as effective. Advertising styles affected popularity with humour, cartoon format or the inclusion of an animal, or character increasing the appeal of an advertisement. The discussion draws attention to the importance of multiple methodologies in eliciting valid and accurate information from children, and to policy matters with regard to alcohol advertising regulation.