Publication Details

This conference paper was originally published as Hoang, C, Jones, SJ and Thornton, J, Consumer confusion: parents nutritional perceptions of food advertisements, in Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference, Adelaide, 1-3 December 2003.


Due to the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity in society, this study was undertaken to determine if advertisers could potentially be misleading parents through the nutritional claims made in advertisements for popular children’s food products. Research was conducted to determine the sorts of nutritional messages parents received from four food advertisements. In total, 41 parents from an Australian university childcare centre participated in the study. The results revealed several major discrepancies whereby parents’ perceived unhealthy products to be healthy – indicating a degree of consumer confusion among parents.