Publication Details

Jones, S. C., Williams, P., Tapsell, L. C. & Andrews, K. L. (2008). Health claims and food advertising: comparison of marketing and nutrition experts' ratings of magazine advertisements. Food Australia, 60 (11), 526-533.


To determine the nature and differences in expert opinion from the fields of nutrition and marketing on the use of health claims in the 30 most frequently appearing Australian magazine food advertisements, a survey was conducted with 28 nutritionists and 21 marketing experts in Australia and New Zealand. The experts assessed the advertisements with respect to the accuracy of the nutrition claims, the tactics and intentions of the advertising strategy and the accessibility of the nutrition information to lay consumers. Of 28 advertisements where a claim was identified, for only one did more than 90% believe the claim to be accurate. Nutritionists were more likely than marketers to perceive that the target audience would identify with the advertisement, and nutritionists more likely to perceive that the target audience would believe and misunderstand the nutritional information provided. This research showed that experts in both nutrition and marketing perceive that there is considerable potential for food advertising to mislead consumers.