5004.0: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 8:30 AM

Abstract #7002

Adolescents' reactions to anti-smoking advertisements by Philip Morris & the Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program

Lois Biener, PHD, Center for Survey Research, University of Massachusetts, Boston, 100 Morrissey Blvd, Boston, MA 02125, 617-287-7200, lois.biener@umb.edu

There is much opinion, but little data on optimal strategies for the design of anti-smoking television advertisements for youth. This study compares responses of a representative sample of Massachusetts adolescents to four different types of anti-tobacco television advertisements broadcast in the spring/summer of 1999: Illness ads (featuring people suffering from illness due to tobacco-related disease); Get Outraged ads (dramatic reports on the toxicity of cigarettes, the number who die each year, and tobacco industry cynicism); Philip Morris ads (featuring young people saying they don't smoke); Other ads (Massachusetts ads that do not feature illness and suffering). Data are from a telephone survey of 733 teens between 14 and 17 years of age. Respondents provided unaided recall of an anti-smoking advertisement seen during the past month, and rated it on a scale ranging from 0 ("not a good anti-smoking ad") to 10 ("a very good ad"). Open-ended descriptions were categorized by trained coders. The proportion of respondents who recalled each type of ad was: Illness - 40%; Outraged - 5%; Philip Morris - 16%; Other - 22%. Illness ads (Mn=8.1) and Outraged ads (Mn=8.1) were rated as significantly better ads than both Other ads (Mn=6.9) and Philip Morris ads (Mn=5.8). Variation by demographic and smoking status sub-groups will be described. Findings will be discussed in the context of earlier research on both teens and adults in Massachusetts which consistently indicates that dramatic depictions of the personal and social harm done by tobacco use elicits the most favorable responses from the public.

Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to: 1. Articulate past critiques of anti-smoking media approaches 2. Articulate current findings on teen perception of effective advertising strategies 3. Articulate barriers to assessment of impact of media campaigns on teen smoking

Keywords: Adolescents, Media Campaigns

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Massachusetts Tobacco Control Program Arnold Advertising Philip Morris
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA