Children's vulnerability to advertising: an overview of four decades of research (1980s-2020s)

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Children’s vulnerability to advertising has been the subject of social and political debate for many years. In comparison with adults, children (up to 12 years old) are thought to be more vulnerable when confronted with advertising and, consequently, more sensitive to its impact. The rationale behind this common assumption is that advertising literacy has not fully developed in children, and that they are therefore less capable of recognizing the temptations of advertising and evaluate it in a critical manner. In this article, we discuss how the topic of children as vulnerable consumers has been addressed in advertising research over the past four decades (since the 1980s), particularly in the International Journal of Advertising (IJA). Specifically, we discuss the state of research on the unintended effects of advertising and children’s advertising literacy and defences. Finally, we propose a research agenda including upcoming trends that need to be addressed in future research on children’s vulnerability to advertising.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-86
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Advertising
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2023

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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