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Children's perceived truthfulness of television advertising and parental influence: A Hong Kong study

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This study examines Chinese children's perceived truthfulness, liking and attention of television advertising in Hong Kong. A quota sample of four hundred and forty-eight children (ages 5 to 12) was personal-interviewed in May 1998. Results indicated that nearly equal proportions of children perceived that television advertising was mostly true and mostly not true. The judgment was mainly derived from their perception of the advertising content. The bases for skepticism about advertising varied by age. Older children depended more on personal user experience and younger children relied on others' comments. Hong Kong children liked television advertising and watched commercials sometimes. Like children in the West, perceived truthfulness and liking of commercials decreased with age. Perceived truthfulness of television advertising was positively related with liking and attention. Hong Kong children reported that their parents often used commercials to teach them about good citizenship and bad products to avoid.
Content may be subject to copyright.
Hong Kong children 1
Children’s perceived truthfulness of television advertising and
parental influence: A Hong Kong study
published in Chan, K. (2001)
Advances in Consumer Research, 28, 207-212.
Dr. Kara Chan
Associate Professor, Department of Communication Studies
Hong Kong Baptist University
Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2339 7836 Fax: (852) 2339 7890
email: karachan@hkbu.edu.hk
Keyword: Television advertising Children Hong Kong Attitudes Parental
influence
Dr. Kara Chan is Associate Professor at the Department of Communication
Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University. She served in the advertising and public
relations profession and as a statistician for the Hong Kong Government before she
joined the academic. She actively involves in research on Hong Kong and China’s
mass communication, advertising and consumer behavior, and environmental
studies.
Running head: Hong Kong children
Revised 5 July 2000
c:\conferen\ACR_trust.doc
The author would like to acknowledge the Hong Kong Baptist University Faculty
Research Grant to provide funding for the conduction of this study.
Not to be copied or quoted without express permission of the author.
Hong Kong children 2
Children’s perceived truthfulness of television advertising
and parental influence: A Hong Kong study
Abstract
This study examines Chinese children’s perceived truthfulness, liking and attention of
television advertising in Hong Kong. A quota sample of four hundred and forty-eight
children (ages 5 to 12) was personal-interviewed in May 1998. Results indicated that
nearly equal proportions of children perceived that television advertising was mostly
true and mostly not true. The judgment was mainly derived from their perception of the
advertising content. The bases for skepticism about advertising varied by age. Older
children depended more on personal user experience and younger children relied on
others’ comments. Hong Kong children liked television advertising and watched
commercials sometimes. Like children in the West, perceived truthfulness and liking of
commercials decreased with age. Perceived truthfulness of television advertising was
positively related with liking and attention. Hong Kong children reported that their
parents often used commercials to teach them about good citizenship and bad products to
avoid.
(146 words)
Hong Kong children 3
1. Introduction
Advertisers target at children because of their high disposable income, their early
establishment of loyalty to certain brands and a conventional wisdom that young adults buy
products on impulse (Fox 1996). Many parents and critics fear that children are susceptible
to commercial appeals because young viewers lack the necessary cognitive skills to process
the highly persuasive messages and make appropriate judgements about them (Choate 1975).
Educators and researchers have attempted to design programs that will teach children about
the intent of advertisements and help children construct defenses from commercial messages
(Pecora 1995).
Twenty-five years of consumer socialization research have yield impressive findings on
the developmental sequence characterizing the growth of consumer knowledge, skills, and
values as children mature throughout childhood and adolescence. Many evidence shows that
as children grow in cognitive and social terms, there is growth in knowledge of products,
brands, advertising, parental influence strategies, and consumption motives and values (John
1999). Although the issue of children and advertising is a largely explored issue in the
U.S.A., there has been limited investigation on children’s receptivity to advertising in Asian
cultures.
Children in Hong Kong are exposed to a large amount of advertising, especially
through television advertising. According to a weekly AC Nielsen’s television rating
report, the average rating of TVB-Jade, the dominant Chinese channel, from 7 a.m. to
Hong Kong children 4
12:00 mid-night on a school day in May 1999 for children 4 to 14 was 11 rating points
(equivalent to an audience size of 95,000). Children watched a lot more television
during school holidays. The average rating of TVB-Jade on an Easter holiday was 16
rating points (40 percent more audience than on a typical school day). A child that
spends four hours per day watching television may be exposed to 15,000 commercials
every year. Hong Kong parents were concerned about the impact of advertising on
children. A survey of Hong Kong adults indicated a majority accused television
advertising of having adverse effects on children. They reported television advertising
leads children to pester their parents (Chan and Ruidl 1996).
There are stringent regulations that govern television advertising to children in
Hong Kong. The basic principle is that television commercials should not take
advantage of the natural credulity and sense of loyalty of children. The presentation of
commercial information must not result in physical, mental or moral harm to children.
Commercials that are frightening, anxiety provoking or which contain violent,
dangerous or anti-social behaviours can not be directed toward children. Children in
commercials also need to display good manners and behaviour. If there is a reference to a
competition in an advertisement aimed at children, the value of prizes and the chances of
a child winning one must not be exaggerated. The true size of the product advertised and
any free gift for children should be made easy to judge (Hong Kong Broadcast Authority
1993).
Hong Kong children 5
With all the efforts to control the advertising presentation, what is the overall
attitude of Hong Kong children toward television advertising? Do they perceive
commercials to be truthful and how do they make such judgments? How do Hong Kong
parents communicate with their children about television advertising? This study
attempts to examine children’s attitudes toward television advertising. The study adopts
Piaget’s (1970) theory of cognitive development. The theory identifies distinct stages of
cognitive development and postulates that children would manifest differences in the
ways they select, evaluate, and use information. Children’s attitudes toward television
advertising will therefore be analyzed by school year.
The objectives of the current study are:
a) to study children’s perceived truthfulness of television advertising and how they
judge whether commercials were true or not;
b) to examine children’s attention to and attitudes toward television advertising;
c) to investigate whether attention and attitudes toward television advertising are related
to perceived truthfulness; and
d) to investigate children’s perceived parental guidance on their exposure to TV
advertising.
The study is of major interest to both marketers and to public policy makers.
Marketers are keen to know if their target audiences are attending to the commercials
and children’s general attitude toward television advertising. Policy makers are
Hong Kong children 6
concerned whether existing regulations are effective to protect the interests of the
children. The study has much to contribute as there is a paucity of empirical information
on the topic in Asian cultures.
2. Literature Review
Studies about children and advertising often refer to Piaget’s (1970) theory of
cognitive development due to the consistent age differences in the way children
understand and respond to commercials (Cosley and Brucks 1986; Wartella 1980). In
Piaget’s theory, children pass through four stages of cognitive development: (1)
sensorimotor thought from ages 0 to 2; (2) preoperational thought from ages 2 to 7; (3)
concrete operational thought from ages 7 to 12; and (4) formal operational thought after
age 12. During sensorimotor thought, children represent information with their bodies.
During preoperational thought, children begin to use symbols and representational
thinking. Because of the cognitive limitations that are age-related, children have
difficulty in distinguishing fantasy from reality (Wartella and Ettema 1974) and
understanding commercial intent (Macklin 1987). During concrete operational thought,
children begin to think logically, but concrete experiences continue to set boundaries on
their thinking. At this stage, children are able to understand the difference between
commercials and programs and between imaginary and real experience. Finally,
children at formal operational thought exhibit abstract thinking and are able to
differentiate between image portrayed in advertising and reality.
Hong Kong children 7
Previous study findings indicate that comprehension of commercial intent is
related to age. Children younger than 7 or 8 years old show little awareness of what a
commercial is and its persuasive intent and appear unable to deal with commercials
appropriately (Blosser and Roberts 1985; Ward and Wackman 1973). As children get
older, they increasingly understand that the underlying motive in commercial advertising
is to persuade them to buy things. Children begin to understand persuasive intent at
about 7 to 8 years of age, and most children master this concept by about 10 or 11 years
(Comstock and Paik 1991; Van Evra 1990; Young 1990). Researchers using non-verbal
measures found that some children at younger age from 5 to 8 also understand
advertising intent (Macklin 1987).
While understanding of the purpose of advertising improves with age, belief in the
truthfulness of advertising tends to decline over age. With comprehension of persuasive
intent comes cynicism and distrust about the advertised product (Rossiter 1980).
Distrust begins to emerge by the second grade and is evident for most sixth graders
(Gaines and Esserman 1981; Rossiter 1980). Ward, Wackman and Wartella (1977)
reported that the percentage of kindergartners, third graders, and sixth graders believing
that advertising never or only sometimes tells the truth increased from 50 percent to 88
percent to 97 percent, respectively. Children also developed a better understanding of
why commercials were sometimes untruthful and how to distinguish truthful from
untruthful ads. For example, kindergartners could not state the reason for why
Hong Kong children 8
commercials lie while older children connected lying to persuasive intent (Ward,
Wackman and Wartella 1977).
A national survey of over 500 British children aged 4 to 13 found that only six
percent thought that commercials ‘always’ tell the truth, while 15 percent thought they
‘quite often’ are truthful. Most (60 percent) reported that commercials ‘sometimes’ tell
the truth. The remaining 20 percent perceived commercials ‘rarely or never’ tell the
truth (Greenberg, Fazal and Wober 1986). Perceived truthfulness of advertising was not
found to differ according to the gender or social class of the children, but age did make a
difference. The youngest children were most likely to believe that commercials told the
truth, while older children were more skeptical (Greenberg, Fazal and Wober, 1986).
The same survey indicated that attention to commercials varied among children.
Thirty percent said that they watch all commercials and 37 percent said they watch most.
Fifteen percent reported that they watch around half and fifteen percent watch a few.
None of the children said that they did not watch commercials at all. Attention did not
differ by age or social class, but did differ by gender. Girls reported greater attention to
commercials than boys. Furthermore, attention was positively related to the perceived
truthfulness of advertising. Those who paid more attention to advertising were more
likely to perceive that commercials were truthful (Greenberg, Fazal and Wober 1986).
Despite their skepticism, children had favorable attitudes towards certain type of
commercials. A survey on children aged 9 to 10 in Belfast, Northern Ireland found that
Hong Kong children 9
two-thirds believed that advertisers only sometimes tell the truth. Despite the doubt
toward commercials, most of the children said they enjoyed particular commercials,
especially the ones featuring humor (Collins 1990).
Review of the literature indicates there are two under-researched areas that need
further study. There is a lack of studies that investigate how children viewers make
judgment on whether commercials were truthful or not. There is also limited research on
how parents use the commercials to teach children in Asia. The current study will
attempt to fill these gaps.
3. Method
Six advertising and public relations undergraduate students of Hong Kong Baptist
University interviewed four hundred and forty-eight Hong Kong Chinese children from five
to twelve years old recruited through personal sources. The children were from a quota
sample of equal number of boys and girls for each school year from kindergarten through
grade six. Interviewers were trained on the purpose of the study, the structure of the
interview and the skills in soliciting responses. Interviews were conducted at public libraries,
churches, restaurants and parks near school areas in May 1998. Efforts were made to
minimize interruptions and intrusions by other family members or friends present. In order
to minimize potential problems and facilitate children’s efforts, respondents were told that
‘when we are watching television, sometimes the program stops and there is other message
coming up. These messages are called the commercials’. The interviews then went on to ask
Hong Kong children 10
three closed-ended questions about how often they watched the commercials, whether they
liked them or not, and whether these commercials were mostly true or not. Two open-ended
questions were asked about how they know commercials are true or not, and what their
parents asked them to learn and not to learn from television advertising. The interviews were
recorded, transcribed and later coded by a research assistant. A coding menu was developed
for the open-ended questions after reviewing all the responses, and one tenth of the
questionnaires were counter-checked. The inter-coder reliability coefficients for open-ended
responses were over 85 percent.
4. Findings
Perceived truthfulness of television advertising. Table 1 summarizes Hong Kong children’s
perception about the truthfulness of television advertising. Nearly equal proportions of
children perceived that commercials were mostly true (forty two percent) and mostly not true
(forty percent). Fourteen percent of respondents perceived that commercials were partly true.
Result for children in kindergartens and grade one was bi-modal. They either perceived
commercials to be ‘mostly true’ or ‘mostly not true’ and very few of them considered
commercials ‘partly true’. Perceived truthfulness of television advertising differed
according to gender and school year. On the whole, a higher proportion of younger children
perceived commercials to be mostly true than older children (Chi-square value=16.6,
significance<0.005). When analyzed by gender and by school year, results indicated that
difference in perceived truthfulness of television advertising according to school year was
Hong Kong children 11
significant for boys but not for girls. Boys had increased skepticism of commercials with
school year, but not girls. The percentage of boys in kindergartners and first graders, second
and third graders, and fourth to six graders believing that advertising is mostly true dropped
from 58 percent to 41 percent to 33 percent respectively. The drop for girls was from 48
percent to 41 percent to 38 percent respectively.
[Table one about here]
Table 2 summarizes how children know whether TV advertising is true or not. A
majority of the children’s judgments were based on perception of advertising content as well
as intrusive feelings. Thirty nine percent of children said they perceived commercials mostly
true because the content seemed so or they felt so. Fifty-six percent of children said they
perceived commercials mostly not true because the content seemed so or they felt so. Other
frequently mentioned reasons for perceiving commercials true were through encountering
the product (seeing the product: 26 percent; trying the product: 17 percent) and from
word-of-mouth (16 percent). Other frequently mentioned reasons for perceiving
commercials not true were having tried the product (19 percent) and from word-of-mouth (18
percent). Chi-square test results indicated that the reasons given by those perceiving
commercials mostly true were similar for children of different school years. However, the
reasons given for suspicion were different according to school year. Skepticism about
advertising for the youngest children came mainly from others’ opinions while that for the
older children came mainly from their personal experience. Bases for judgments did not
Hong Kong children 12
differ by gender.
[Table two about here]
Attention to television advertising. Table 3 summarizes Hong Kong children’s self-report of
their attention to TV advertising. This only measures children’s perceptions of their
attentiveness to commercials. Children’s actual visual attention to the television screen was
not measured in the current study. Only three percent of children said that they did not watch
TV commercials at all. Fifty-two percent of children said that they ‘sometimes’ watched TV
advertising. Twenty-nine percent said they watched often and sixteen percent watched nearly
every time. Comparing with the results of a survey on British children, Hong Kong children
were less attentive to TV advertising. However, when compared with results from a survey
on Hong Kong adults, Hong Kong children paid more attention to TV advertising than adults.
Two-way ANOVA result indicated that attention did not differ either by school age or by
gender.
[Table three about here]
Attitudes toward TV advertising. Table 4 summarizes children’s attitudes toward TV
advertising. Results indicated that children liked TV advertising. Fifty-six percent of
respondents expressed liking while seventeen percent expressed disliking of commercials.
Result for children in kindergartens and grade one was bi-modal. They either ‘like’ them or
‘dislike’, and very few of them reported a neutral answer. Chi-square test results indicated
that attitudes differed by school year for boys as well as girls. Younger children liked TV
Hong Kong children 13
advertising while older children took neutral position. Older girls reported a greater drop in
liking of commercials than older boys did.
[Table four about here]
Table 5 shows the relationship between children’s perceived truthfulness of TV
advertising and attention to TV advertising. Attention to commercials was positively related
to the perceived truthfulness of TV advertising. Those who perceived commercials ‘mostly
true’ paid more attention to commercials than those who perceived commercials ‘mostly not
true’.
[Table five about here]
Table 6 shows the relationship between children’s perceived truthfulness of TV
advertising and attitudes toward TV advertising. Attitude toward commercials was
positively related to the perceived truthfulness of TV advertising. Those who perceived
commercials ‘mostly true’ were 50 percent more likely to say they like them than those who
perceived commercials ‘mostly not true’.
[Table six about here]
Table 7 summarizes the children’s perception of the parental influence on what to learn
and what not to learn from commercials. The actual parental influence was not measured in
the current study as parents were not asked directly. Children reported more don’ts than do’s.
Children perceived that their parents were concerned about the consumption of ‘bad’
products including drugs, cigarettes and liquor. Hong Kong children also reported that their
Hong Kong children 14
parents asked them not to imitate violent and dangerous actions. Some children reported that
their parents were concerned about illegal behaviours (e.g. stealing) and incorrect behaviours
(e.g. telling lies). Children reported that parents use commercials to teach them to study hard
and be good children. They also reported that parents used commercials to teach them about
keeping good health and a tidy environment.
[Table seven about here]
5. Discussion and conclusion
The current study indicates belief in the truthfulness of commercials and liking of
television advertising tend to decline over age. This is in line with previous findings in
Western societies. However, children’s attention to television advertising did not decline
over age.
Chinese children were not totally susceptible to advertising appeals. Even
children in kindergarten and grade 1 cast doubt about the truthfulness of commercials. It
was interesting to find children’s bases for skepticism about advertising vary by age.
Younger children relied mainly on the advertising content or had been told to cast doubt
on advertising. This study is limited in that most of the interviewers did not follow up on
children’s sources of information about the truthfulness of commercials. Younger
children probably learned to defend themselves against the persuasive messages from
their parents, siblings, teachers or other adults. Older children had more consumer
experience and were more likely to draw upon them to cast doubt on the commercials.
Hong Kong children 15
One fifth of those who perceived commercials were mostly not true because they had
tried the product. According to findings in Western societies, belief in the truthfulness of
television advertising declines with age. This is consistent with Piagets (1970) theory of
cognitive development. As the children entered the concrete operational stage, they
were better able to differentiate between imaginary portrayals in the commercials and
real-life experiences. Children, as consumers, were better able to compare user
experience with advertising promises.
As most of the children relied on the commercial content to make judgments
about its trustworthiness, existing regulations on message presentation should be
maintained.
Another interesting finding is the difference in skepticism of television
advertising with age for boys and girls. A high percentage of boys in kindergartens and
grade 1 believed that commercials were mostly true while boys in grades 4 to 6 no longer
believed so. Skepticism toward commercials was moderately high for girls in
kindergartens and grade 1. The drop in perceived truthfulness with age was not
significant for girls. The results seem to suggest boys and girls have different pace of
cognitive development. Girls seem to be more mature in early age and read commercials
more critically than boys. However, boys read commercials more critically than girls in
older age. Further research is needed to explain such difference.
Hong Kong children 16
Despite children’s skepticism of television advertising, most of the respondents
expressed their liking of commercials. The results indicated that those who put
perceived commercials ‘mostly true’ were also more likely to enjoy commercials and
paid more attention to them. Perhaps this represents the group of children most easily
persuaded by selling messages. Media education on critical reading and viewing of
persuasive messages is mostly needed for this audience segment.
Hong Kong children reported that their parents used commercials as teaching
aids. The emphasis was on topics related to health, safety and proper behaviours of
children. Children seldom reported that their parents use commercials to teach them
about consumerism and purchasing decision making. Although Hong Kong parents
perceived that television advertising took advantage of children (Chan and Ruidl 1996),
children did not perceive that their parents helped them to become competent consumers.
Surprisingly, children’s rights as consumers are not fully respected. Fostering a
consumer culture empowering consumers to be conscious of their rights and obligations
is one of the main areas of work of the Hong Kong Consumer Council (Hong Kong
Consumer Council 1998). Over the past decades, the Consumer Council has launched
several campaigns to encourage dissatisfied consumers to lodge complaints with them.
However, none of these campaigns are targeted at children. Publicity campaigns on
children’s consumer rights and ways to collect consumer complaints from children
should be developed. Perhaps consumer education should start with the parents, teachers,
Hong Kong children 17
community leaders and administrators. Parents and teachers should discuss with children
their consumer rights and support them to express their dissatisfaction, if any. Hong
Kong is certainly in need of a media literacy program to teach people how to read
advertising messages critically.
To conclude, Hong Kong children did cast doubt about television advertising.
Perceived truthfulness of commercials decreased with age. Hong Kong children also
enjoyed television advertising and paid a lot of attention to it. Perceived truthfulness of
television advertising had positive association with children’s liking and attention to
these messages. Hong Kong children reported that their parents were more concerned
about the influence of commercials on their health and moral standards. Commercials
were perceived as teaching aids for becoming good citizens and avoiding hazardous
product categories. As a result of the study, continuing consumer education and media
literacy programs for children and adults should be encouraged.
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Hong Kong children 18
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Hong Kong children 21
Table 1 Children’s perceived truthfulness of TV advertising
Year
(%)
Kindergarten,G1
G2-3
G4-6
Total
n=128
128
192
448
Television advertising is
%
%
%
%
Mostly true
53
41
35
42
Partly true
6
15
18
14
Mostly not true
32
41
45
40
Don't know
9
3
2
4
Total
100
100
100
100
chi-square value for the sample = 16.6 (<0.005)
chi-square value for boys = 18.9 (<0.005)
chi-square value for girls = 10.1 (N.S.)
Hong Kong children 22
Table 2 How children know whether television advertising is true or not true
Year
Ad is
Kinder-g
arten,G1
G2-3
G4-6
Total
True(T)
n=55
50
69
174
Reason*
Not-true(NT
)
n=43
69
114
226
The content seems so/ I feel that
it is
T(%)
33
38
43
39
NT(%)
49
61
56
56
Other people tell me
T(%)
31
12
7
16
NT(%)
35
20
10
18
Having/Having not seen the
product
T(%)
20
32
26
26
NT(%)
0
3
4
3
Having tried the product
T(%)
15
14
20
17
NT(%)
14
10
26
19
The product is just like/not like
the advertising
T(%)
0
0
0
0
NT(%)
2
3
4
3
Others
T(%)
2
3
3
0
NT(%)
0
3
1
1
* coded from open-ended responses
Chi-square value for those considered advertising is mostly true = 15.7 (N.S.)
Chi-square value for those considered advertising is mostly not true =22.6 (<0.05)
Hong Kong children 23
Table 3 Children’s attention to TV advertising
Year
(%)
Kinder-g
arten,
G1
G2-3
G4-6
Total
British children
4-13*
HK
adults#
n=125
128
192
445
National sample of
over 500
691
Don’t watch at all
3
2
3
3
0(did not watch any)
2
Watch sometimes
46
57
53
52
33(watch a
few/around half)
76
Watch often
28
27
32
29
37(watch most)
20
Watch every time
23
13
13
16
31(watch them all)
2
Total
100
100
100
100
100
100
chi-square = 8.7 (N.S.)
* Greenberg, Fazal and Wober (1986), original wordings of answers in bracket
# Chan and Ruidl (1996), wordings of questions and answers are the same as the current
study
Table 4 Children’s attitudes toward TV advertising
Year
(%)
Kinder-gar
ten,G1
G2-3
G4-6
Total
HK
adults#
n=
128
128
192
448
691
Dislike very much
2
4
2
2
1
Dislike
20
16
11
15
7
Neutral
12
27
37
27
34
Like
61
49
46
51
49
Like very much
6
4
4
5
10
Total
100
100
100
100
100
chi-square = 28.9 (<0.0001)
# Chan and Ruidl (1996), wordings of questions and answers are the same as the current
study
Hong Kong children 24
Table 5 Attention to TV advertising and perceived truthfulness of TV advertising
TV advertising is
Mostly true
Mostly not true
Attention to TV advertising
(%)
(%)
Don’t watch at all
3
4
Watch sometimes
44
57
Watch often
32
26
Watch every time
21
13
Total
100
100
chi-square = 8.3 (<0.05)
Table 6 Attitudes towards TV advertising and perceived truthfulness of TV advertising
TV advertising is
Mostly true
Mostly not true
Attitudes toward TV advertising
(%)
(%)
Dislike very much
2
4
Dislike
10
18
Neutral
21
32
Like
60
44
Like very much
9
3
Total
100
100
Chi-square=20.2 (<0.0001)
Hong Kong children 25
Table 7 Children’s perception of parental influence on what to learn from television
advertising
No.
Total
Don’ts*
124 (73%)
don’t take illegal drugs
38
don’t copy violent behaviour
33
don’t copy incorrect behaviours (tell lies, watch
bad movies and read bad books, etc)
13
don’t steal/corrupt
11
don’t smoke
9
don’t copy dangerous action
9
don’t imitate a specific cartoon figure
8
don’t drink alcohol
3
Do’s*
45 (27%)
study hard
13
keep good health
8
be good to parents
3
be a good child
9
keep Hong Kong clean/conserve
7
others
3
Total mentions
169 (100%)
* coded from open-ended responses
Hong Kong children 26
Professor Mary C. Gilly
Graduate School of Management
University of California
Irvine, CA 2697
USA
February 22, 2000
Dear Prof. Gilly
Submission of Paper
Please find attached four copies of a manuscript on Children’s trust in
television advertising and parental influence: A Hong Kong study for your
consideration to be presented at the ACR’s conference to be held in Oct 2000. I
agree to register and present the paper at the conference when it is accepted. Please
do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. Thank you for your
attention.
Yours sincerely,
_______________
Kara Chan
Hong Kong children 27
Professor Mary C. Gilly
Graduate School of Management
University of California
Irvine, CA 2697
USA
July 4, 2000
Dear Professor Gilly
Submission of Revised Manuscript
Please find attached one hard copy of the revised manuscript on Children’s perceived
truthfulness of television advertising and parental influence: A Hong Kong study
for your consideration to be published in the Advances in Consumer Research.
Response to reviewers’ comment is summarized as follows,
Comments (reviewers #)
Revision
Add description of steps to facilitate
children’s response (142)
Added on p.8 first paragraph
Explain differences in boys’ and girls’
perceived truthfulness of commercials (142)
Added on p.12, last paragraph
Clarification about measure of attentiveness
to commercials (142)
Clarified on P.10 that it is not a measure of
visual attention to the TV screen
Clarification about comparisons between the
attentiveness of HK sample to other
population (142)
Clarified on P. 18, footnote of Table 3
Concept of ‘parental influence’ (142)
Re-framed as ‘perception of parental
influence’ on P.11 and p.13
Suggested reference of John (1999) (142)
Added on p.3, first paragraph
Overstate of ‘advertising is designed to
persuade people to make purchase decision’
on P. 3 (216)
Sentence is deleted
Sentence on ‘customer dissatisfaction among
children’ on p.11 (216)
Sentence is deleted
Bi-modal nature of results in Table 1 (151)
Added on p. 9 first paragraph
Concept about ‘trust in advertising’ (151)
Re-framed as ‘perceived truthfulness of
advertising’, various pages
Thank you for your attention.
Yours truly,
__________________
Kara Chan
\conferen\ACR_trust.doc
Hong Kong children 28
Jim Muncy
Publication Director
Association for Consumer Research
Department of Marketing
College of Business Administration
Valdosta State University
Valdosta, GA 31698
USA
July 5, 2000
Dear Professor Muncy
Submission of Revised Manuscript
Please find attached one hard copy and a disk copy of the revised manuscript on
Children’s perceived truthfulness of television advertising and parental influence:
A Hong Kong study for your consideration to be published in the Advances in
Consumer Research. The paper will be presented in the 2000 Annual Conference of the
Association of Consumer Research.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. Thank you for your
attention.
Yours truly,
__________________
Kara Chan
\conferen\ACR_trust.doc
... Previous study indicated that perceived truthfulness of commercials is positively related with liking of commercials. Children who put more trust in commercials liked them more (Chan, 2001). ...
... Perceived truthfulness of advertising did not depend on gender or social class of the children, but depended on age (Greenberg et al., 1986). Chan (2001) surveyed 448 children in Hong Kong and reported that the percentage of kindergartners and first graders, second and third graders, and fourth to sixth graders believing that advertising was mostly not true increased from 32 percent to 41 percent to 45 percent, respectively. ...
... Eleven to 12-year-olds, however, were more discriminating, using nuances of voice, manner, and language to detect misleading advertising. Chan (2001) found that a majority of children's judgments about perceived truthfulness of TV advertising was based on perception of advertising content and intrusive feelings. For those children who considered advertising to be mostly true, judgments did not differ by age. ...
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This benchmarking study examines Chinese children.s perceived truthfulness of and liking for television advertising in three Chinese cities with different developmental levels of advertising. An in-person survey of 1758 children (ages 6 to 14) was conducted between December 2001 and March 2002 using a structured questionnaire. Results indicate that a majority of children perceive half of the television commercials to be true, although this varies by grade and geography. Children in Beijing perceived television commercials to be more trustworthy than did children in Nanjing and Chengdu. The percentage of children who perceive all commercials to be true declines consistently with grade in all three cities. There is a high proportion of first graders who perceive all commercials to be untrue. The basis for judgement varies predominantly by grade. Children in higher grades depend more on brand and user experience while children in lower grades rely mainly on authority (i.e. parents or teachers). A high proportion of first graders hold both a strong liking and disliking for commercials. These strong feelings towards advertising decreased with grade, being replaced by a marked increase in neutral or indifferent feelings. Gender and level of television viewing do not show a consistent impact on perceived truthfulness and liking for commercials. Perceived truthfulness of television advertising is related positively with liking for commercials.
... As children move into adolescence, they cease believing that advertisements are always true and their scepticism toward advertisements increases (Chan & McNeal, 2002, 2004Freeman & Shapiro, 2014). Chan (2001) found that the judgment by older children about advertisement credibility depends more on personal experience, while that of younger children, on other's comments. ...
... In particular, individuals in a positive affective state evaluate stimuli more positively because they base their evaluation on their affective reactions to the object (Bagozzi et al., 1999). Previous studies (Chan, 2001;Chan & McNeal, 2004) have suggested that children who enjoy commercials and have positive emotions toward commercials perceive these to be mostly true (and vice versa). Drawing on this reasoning, the following hypothesis is proposed: ...
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... In general, vulnerability refers to "a susceptibility to injury or to being taken advantage of by another person" (Smith & Cooper-Martin, 1997, p. 4). Young children's vulnerability to persuasive marketing communication has been interpreted as their lack of cognitive ability to understand the communication leading to low skepticism toward communication messages (Chan, 2001;Mizerski et al., 2017;Wang & Mizerski, 2019). This vulnerability has been further identified as children's behaviors linked to brand choice, such as junk food advertising linked to obesity, the parent-child conflict caused by children's requests for advertised brands, and materialism issues reflected by the desire for advertised brands (Achenreiner & John, 2003;Buijzen, 2007;Fischer et al., 1991). ...
... This vulnerability has been further identified as children's behaviors linked to brand choice, such as junk food advertising linked to obesity, the parent-child conflict caused by children's requests for advertised brands, and materialism issues reflected by the desire for advertised brands (Achenreiner & John, 2003;Buijzen, 2007;Fischer et al., 1991). This issue also exists in China, particularly when "pester power" plays an important role in Chinese families' purchase decisionmaking (Chan, 2001). However, a child is less likely to react to an advertised brand if she or he is not able to recognize or is not aware of the advertised brand. ...
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... Bauer and Greyser [2] found that PT of advertising, in general, is one of the dominant perceptual dimensions that explains people's reactions to it. Towards television advertising, Chan [5] claimed that PT is necessary to make people to like an ad and to attract their attention. The closest variable to perceived truthfulness is perceived credibility, which received reasonable attention in information sharing literature. ...
... Fourth, future research is urged to collect more data and replicate the study in other settings such as in cultures, nature of government (democracy or monarchy), etc. Finally, Chan [5] claims that older people trust less to media content; the investigation on the effect of control variables such as age, education, and previous experience using social media would enhance our further understanding. ...
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The purpose of this study is to establish and examine a model explaining sharing of political content in social media. From individuals’ perspective, this study identifies two personal (i.e., altruism and social recognition) and two content related attributes (i.e., perceived truthfulness and value) that can directly affect sharing intention of political contents in social media. Moreover, the proposed direct effects are arguably contingent upon ‘collective opinion’. The empirical results support all the hypotheses except the moderating effect of collective opinion between perceived value and intention. The implications of the findings and future research directions are also discussed.
... Some children give more attention to television advertising and they think that everything is true in them so they rely more on the qualities of advertised product on the other hand some children suspect its truthfulness. It can be called as perceived authenticity and truthfulness of advertising (Chan, 2001). ...
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... As indicated by (Carlson, Laczniak, Walsh, 2001) [15] parents and children correspondence is irreplaceable subsequently building up a satisfactory security against negative impact of promoting. Mukhery (2005) [16] found that in India mothers have more positive frames of mind towards TV publicizing (mean esteem 2,88) and promoting to youngsters (2,19) and manage their kids to a lesser degree (3,08). An examination composed by (donohue et al. 1980) [13] says that children aged three years could comprehend the commercial. ...
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... A survey was done at Honk Kong indicated that majority television advertising are having adverse effect on television which results in leading children towards pestering their parents [21]. Despite their skepticism, children had favorable attitudes towards certain type of commercials. ...
... While 'around eight' is generally supported in the literature (e.g. Chan 2001;Roedder 1981), Oates et al. (2002) found only a quarter of eight year olds, and a third of 10 year olds, were capable of identifying the persuasive intent of television advertising. Similarly, Rozendaal et al. (2010) found that while an understanding of the persuasive intent of television advertising had emerged in children by eight, by twelve it was still not equivalent to an adult's understanding. ...
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... Nearly equal proportions of these children perceive television advertising to be mostly true or mostly not true with older children depending more on personal user experience and younger children relying on others' viewpoints. Like children in the West, perceived truthfulness and liking of commercials decrease with age (Chan 2001). ...
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