An Investigation of the Fine Print in Children's Television Advertising

Kolbe, Richard H.; Muehling, Darrel D.
September 1995
Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising (CTC Press);Fall95, Vol. 17 Issue 2, p77
Academic Journal
Using content analysis techniques and the Federal Trade Commission's "Clear and Conspicuous Standard," this study provides a descriptive and evaluative appraisal of fine-print messages found in children's Saturday morning advertising on the three major television networks. The findings indicate that a considerable number of ads contained some form of fine-print message. Furthermore, while some differences in executional methods (e.g., print size, message placement/location/duration, background noise, visual-only presentation) existed between the various fine-print message types, generally speaking, few of these messages possessed characteristics that would be considered conducive to effective communication. The implications of these findings are discussed in light of what is already known about children and how they respond to advertising.


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