Objective: Amid concern about high rates of obesity and related diseases, the marketing of nutritionally poor foods to young people by the food industry has come under heavy criticism by public health advocates, who cite decades of youth-targeted marketing in arguing for reforms. In light of recent evidence that the same event evokes stronger emotional reactions when it occurs in the future versus the past, highlighting youth-targeted marketing that has yet to occur may evoke stronger reactions to such practices, and perhaps, greater support for related health policy initiatives. Method: In a between-subjects experiment, Web participants (N = 285) read that a major soda company had already launched (past condition) or was planning to launch (future condition) an advertising campaign targeting children. Measures included support for a soda tax and affective responses to the company’s actions. Results: Greater support for the soda tax was observed in the future condition than in the past condition. Moreover, participants in the future condition reported heightened negative emotions about the company’s actions, which mediated the observed effect on soda tax support. Conclusion: The same action undertaken by the food industry (here, marketing soda to children) may evoke stronger negative emotions and greater support for a health policy initiative when it is framed prospectively rather than retrospectively.
food marketing, soda tax, childhood obesity, past and future, sugar-sweetened beverages
Business and Corporate Communications | Marketing | Taxation
Marketing; Corporate Communication
American Psychological Association
Sungjong ROH and SCHULDT, Jonathon P..
Where there’s a will: Can highlighting future youth-targeted marketing increase support for soda taxes?. (2014). Health Psychology. 33, (12), 1610-1613. Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/lkcsb_research/4852
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