Publication Details

Barrie, L. & Jones, S. C. 2011, ''As long as you have some of that, it cancels it out': How advertisers use guilt to sell us quick-fixes for our unhealthy behaviour', Australian and New Zealand Marketing Association Conference (ANZMAC), pp. 1-6.


In a society with numerous guidelines for „healthy living‟, people make conscious decisions to substitute or trade certain health behaviours with others. The current study investigates young adults‟ perceptions of messages in advertising which imply that use or consumption of a product may have health benefits or may even provide a „solution‟ or trade-off for a consumer who has made (or would like to make) a suboptimal health behaviour choice. Using focus groups and a survey, we found that these types of decisions are common, and that people spontaneously recall editorial and advertising messages that convey such messages. Responding to an advertisement for low carbohydrate beer, young adult consumers perceived messages that suggest alcohol consumption could be traded for exercise.