Promoting Adolescents’ Moral Advertising Literacy in Secondary Education

Adams, Britt and Schellens, Tammy and Valcke, Martin Promoting Adolescents’ Moral Advertising Literacy in Secondary Education. Comunicar, 2017, vol. 25, n. 52, pp. 93-103. [Journal article (Paginated)]

Text (In English)
c5209en.pdf - Published version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike.

Download (2MB) | Preview
Text (En español)

Download (2MB) | Preview

English abstract

Minors are daily confronted with advertisements, which are occasionally controversial. In order to promote adolescents’ moral advertising literacy, this intervention study explores how to stimulate secondary education students’ knowledge on advertising law and their moral judgement of advertisements. Because a lot of new ?especially online? advertising formats have arisen during the last years, 191 students from 12 classes were randomly assigned to either a no tablet condition or a tablet condition (to raise authenticity of learning material). The results show that students who use tablet devices perform less well on a post-test about advertising law. Regarding adolescents’ moral judgement of advertisements, thematic analyses reveal that especially the use of nudity and feminine beauty are labelled as contentious in both conditions, because of, inter alia, the negative effects for adolescent girls’ self-image and the desire to lose weight. After the intervention, the tablet condition has proven to be more effective in promoting critical thinking about nudity/feminine beauty in advertisements. However, none of the conditions did provide evidence that a critical attitude towards alcohol advertising is encouraged. In this regard, implications for future research in the context of advertising literacy education are discussed.

Spanish abstract

Los menores de edad se enfrentan diariamente a anuncios que pueden resultar polémicos. Con el fin de promover la alfabetización ética en publicidad en los adolescentes, este estudio explora cómo estimular el conocimiento de los estudiantes de Educación Secundaria acerca de la ley de publicidad y su juicio moral hacia los anuncios. A raíz de los formatos de publicidad ?especialmente online– que han surgido en los últimos años, 191 estudiantes de 12 clases fueron asignados aleatoriamente a una de estas condiciones: uso o no uso de tablets (para aumentar la autenticidad del material de aprendizaje). Los resultados muestran que el desempeño en el post-test sobre la ley de publicidad de los estudiantes que usaron tablet es peor. En cuanto al juicio moral de los adolescentes sobre los anuncios, el análisis temático revela que especialmente el uso de la desnudez y la belleza femenina resultan polémicos en ambas condiciones, debido, entre otros motivos, a los efectos negativos para la autoestima de las adolescentes y al deseo de perder peso. Tras la intervención, el uso de tablets ha demostrado ser más eficaz para promover el pensamiento crítico hacia la desnudez y la belleza femenina en los anuncios. Sin embargo, no se hallaron evidencias de que alguna de las dos condiciones favorezca el desarrollo de una actitud crítica hacia la publicidad del alcohol. En este sentido, se plantean futuras líneas de investigación en el contexto de la alfabetización publicitaria.

Item type: Journal article (Paginated)
Keywords: Moral literacy, advertising, advertising formats, secondary education, adolescence, qualitative techniques, quantitative techniques, tablet devices, Alfabetización ética, publicidad, formatos publicitarios, Educación Secundaria, adolescencia, técnicas cualitativas, técnicas cuantitativas, tablets
Subjects: B. Information use and sociology of information > BJ. Communication
G. Industry, profession and education.
G. Industry, profession and education. > GH. Education.
Depositing user: Alex Ruiz
Date deposited: 16 Jan 2018 11:54
Last modified: 16 Jan 2018 11:54


Adams, B., Schellens, T., & Valcke, M. (2015). Een analyse van het Vlaamse onderwijscurriculum anno 2015. In welke mate is reclamewijsheid aanwezig in het curriculum? [An Analysis of the Flemish Curriculum Anno 2015. To What Extent is Advertising Literacy Present in the Curriculum?]. ( (2016-04-28).<br>Aguaded, I. (2011). Media Education: An International Unstoppable Phenomenon UN, Europe and Spain Support for Edu-communication [La educación mediática, un movimiento internacional imparable. La ONU, Europa y España apuestan por la educomunicación]. Comunicar, 37, 7-8.<br>Aguaded, I. (2013). Media Programme (UE) - International Support for Media Education. [El Programa «Media» de la Comisión Europea, apoyo internacional a la educación en medios]. Comunicar, 40, 07-08.<br>Anderson, P., de-Bruijn, A., Angus, K., Gordon, R., & Hastings, G. (2009). Impact of Alcohol Advertising and Media Exposure on Adolescent Alcohol Use: A Systematic Review of Longitudinal Studies. Alcohol & Alcoholism, 44(3), 229-243.<br>Apestaartjaren (2016). Onderzoeksrapport Apestaartjaren 6 [Research report Apestaartjaren 6]. ( (2016-10-03).<br>Calvert, S.L. (2008). Children as Consumers: Advertising and Marketing. The Future of Children, 18(1), 205-234.<br>Daems, K., & De-Pelsmacker, P. (2015). Marketing Communication Techniques Aimed at Children and Teenagers. ( (2016-04-28).<br>De-Pelsmacker, P. (2016). Ethiek in reclame [Ethics in Advertising] [PowerPoint Slides]. ( (2016-11-20).<br>Duffy, T.M., & Cunningham, D.J. (1996). Constructivism: Implications for the Design and Delivery of Instruction. In D.J. Jonassen (Ed.), Handbook of research for Educational Communications and Technology (pp. 170-198). New York: Macmillan Library Reference.<br>Ellickson, P.H., Collins, R.L., Hambarsoomians, K., & McCaffrey, D.F. (2005). Does Alcohol Advertising Promote Adolescent Drinking? Results from a longitudinal assessment. Addiction, 100(2), 235-246. <br>Howitt, D. (2010). Thematic Analysis. In G. Van-Hove, & L. Claes (Eds.), Qualitative Research and Educational Sciences: A Reader about Useful Strategies and Tools (pp. 179-202). Essex: Pearson.<br>Hudders, L, Cauberghe, V., Panic, K., Adams, B., Daems, K., De-Pauw, P., …, Zarouali, B. (2015, February). Children’s Advertising Literacy in a New Media Environment: An Introduction to the AdLit Research Project. Paper presented at the Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap. ( (2016-04-28).<br>Karagiorgi, Y, & Symeou, L. (2005). Translating Constructivism into Instructional Design: Potential and Limitations. Educational Technology & Society, 8(1), 17-27. <br>Lavine, H., Sweeney, D., & Wagner, S.H. (1999). Depicting Women as Sex Objects in Television Advertising: Effects on Body Dissatisfaction. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25(8), 1049-1058.<br>Levine, M.P., & Murnen, S.K. (2009). Everybody Knows that Mass Media Are/Are Not [pick one] a Cause of Eating Disorders: A Critical Review of Evidence for a Causal Link between Media, Negative Body Image, and Disordered Eating in Females. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 28(1), 9-42.<br>Livingstone, S., & Helsper, E.J. (2006). Does Advertising Literacy Mediate the Effects of Advertising on Children? A Critical Examination of Two Linked Research Literatures in Relation to Obesity and Food choice. Journal of Communication, 56(3), 560-584.<br>Martino, S.C., Kovalchik, S.A., Collins, R.L., Becker, K.M., Shadel, W.G., & D’Amico, E.J. (2016). Ecological Momentary Assessment of the Association between exposure to Alcohol Advertising and Early Adolescents’ Beliefs about Alcohol. Journal of Adolescent Health, 58(1), 85-91.<br>Martinson, D.L. (2001). Using Commercial Advertising to Build an Understanding of Ethical Behaviour. The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 74(3), 131-135.<br>McLean, S.A., Paxton, S.J., & Wertheim, E.H. (2016). Does Media Literacy Mitigate Risk for Reduced Body Satisfaction Following Exposure to Thin-ideal Media? Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 45, 1678-1695.<br>Meeus, W., Walrave, M., Van-Ouytsel, J., & Driesen, A. (2014). Advertising Literacy in Schools: Evaluating Free Online Educational Resources for Advertising Literacy. Journal of Media Education, 5(2), 5-12.<br>Montrieux, H., Vanderlinde, R., Schellens, T., & De-Marez, L. (2015). Teaching and Learning with Mobile Technology: A Qualitative Explorative Study about the Introduction of Tablet Devices in Secondary Education. PLoS ONE, 10(12), 1-17. <br>Rozendaal, E., Lapierre, M.A., Van-Reijmersdal, E.A., & Buijzen, M. (2011). Reconsidering Advertising Literacy as a Defense against Advertising Effects. Media Psychology, 14(4), 333-354.<br>Scull, T. M., Kupersmidt, J.B., Parker, A.E., Elmore, K.C., & Benson, J.W. (2010). Adolescents’ Media-Related Cognitions and Substance Use in the Context of Parental and Peer Influences. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39(9), 981-998.<br>Slater, A., Tiggemann, M., Hawkins, K., & Werchon, D. (2012). Just One Click: A Content Analysis of Advertisements on Teen Web Sites. Journal of Adolescent Health, 50(4), 339-345.<br>Tortajada, I., Araüna, N., & Martínez, I.J. (2013). Advertising Stereotypes and Gender Representation in Social Networking Sites. [Estereotipos publicitarios y representaciones de género en las redes sociales]. Comunicar, 41(XXI), 177-186.<br>Vanderhoven, E. (2014). Raising Risk Awareness and Changing Unsafe Behavior on Social Network Sites: A Design-based Research in Secondary Education (Doctoral Dissertation). Ghent: Ghent University.<br>Verdoodt, V., Lievens, E., & Hellemans, L. (2015). Mapping and Analysis of the Current Legal Framework of Advertising Aimed at Minors. ( (2015-09-13).<br>Vlaamse Regulator voor de Media [Flemish Regulator for the Media]. (2009). Decreet betreffende radio-omroep en televisie. [Decree on Radio and Television Broadcasting]. ( (2015-09-13).<br>


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item