Many controversial debates surrounded the impact of advertising campaign of cigarette and alcohol on adolescents. Since the teenage market is extremely large and most of the time the advertising is viewed by teenagers as information source, it is important to understand how that teenager attends to advertising for cigarette and alcohol and associated with its cautionary statements.
The study was conducted by Fox and his team in 1998 to answer whether the mandate warning label or voluntary caution is effective. The research reported the use of eye tracking to monitor adolescents’ viewing behaviour for five selected print advertisements, two ads for cigarettes (Camel and Marlboro), one ad for beer (Miller Lite), one ad for sunscreen (Bain de Soleil) and a soft drink (Diet Coke). It describes the use of eye tracking to investigate warning effectiveness and reported the results on adolescents’ viewing of those ads and on attention to mandated warnings and voluntary disclosures within the context of print advertising.
The result showed that over all, the Camel ad received significantly more attention than any of the other print ads. In particular, when comparing the Camel and Marlboro ads, while in contrast the participants paid attention to warnings label on Joe Camel ad less than Marlboro ad (Fox et. al., 1998). They stated that the difference between used times is due to the cartoon nature of the Joe Camel ad. Therefore, they concluded that the relatively high level of attention given to the Camel ad is due to the youth appeal of the Joe Camel campaign.

What is more, the percentage of participants attending to the voluntary disclosure in the Miller Lite ad is less than the analogous percentages for the two mandated cigarette warnings. Interestingly, the participants paid attention to look at the Miller Lite ad longer than Diet Coke ad but they spent time to look voluntary disclosure in Miller Lite ad less than Diet Coke trademark, even though voluntary disclosure and trademark has the same position on both print ads (Fox et. al., 1998). Hence, they concluded that the effectiveness of relatively novel voluntary cautionary statement was less effective than familiar mandated warnings, which have been found to have only limited impact among adolescents.
The result of this research is not surprising. It showed that the effectiveness of the warning labels to adolescents is a special problem. Adolescents have substantial interest in smoking and drinking. This group continues to demonstrate high rates of tobacco use. (Daynard, 1988: Jacoby, Chestnut and Silberman, 1977) High school students spent more time viewing advertising for a beer brand than they spent viewing advertising for a popular soft drink brand, and as much time as they spent looking at an ad for a skin protection product (Fox et. al., 1998). Further, Aitken, Leather and Squair (1986) have demonstrated that tobacco advertising is well recognized by children and adolescents. Additional, previous research has shown that the warning messages currently mandated by the government are not particularly effective in communicating health risks to the adolescent audience (Krugman et al. 1994).
In this study, the research team has employed well-accepted market research techniques to examine the viewing of product advertisements by adolescents. This method is eye tracking, the recall of masked areas of the advertisements (Fox et. al., 1998). Eye tracking is frequently employed by market researchers in the development of print advertisements. (Kroeber-Riel, 1979: Treistman, and Gregg, 1979: Young, 1984)
Since eye tracking data are considered to be some of the most valid measures of the acquisition of information. (Kroeber-Riel, 1979) Only those informational elements that are visually fixated on can be picked up and transferred to the short-term memory. The recognition and recall testing then measures the extent of the processing and retainment of the information picked up. (Kroeber-Riel, 1979) Thus, the valid of the result by this method is unquestionable.
It is obvious that the study design produces some artificiality in terms of advertisement exposure. The research team attempted to minimize this by not telling the participants at the time of the advertisement viewing that they would be questioned later about the advertisement’s content. Nonetheless, it is probable that the advertisements were studied in more detail than would occur during the routine viewing of a magazine. It is therefore likely that, in normal situations, the viewing time of the warning is much shorter. (Fischer et al., 1989)
In the view of social advertisement such as anti smoking, it might be expected that more regular viewing of the warning would occur if warnings were larger or were better integrated into the advertisement. For instance, research on warning disclosure for prescription drugs has shown that risk information could be more successfully processed by consumers if the information was integrated into the advertising message. (Morris, Ruffner and Klimberg, 1985) Thus, if the government needs to get the more effectiveness from cigarette warning label, it should be a better idea to increase the area of label larger than present mandate. Further message design research suggests that improving warning conspicuity (size and contrast) can increase recall of the alcohol warning information (Barlow ; Wogalter, 1991).
Moreover, studies of message design factors have revealed that the notice ability of alcohol warning messages is improved by placing the message on the front label, in a horizontal position, with the words Government Warning, and by reducing surrounding clutter on the label (Laughery, Young, Vaubel, ; Brelsford, 1993). Further alcohol warnings that contain fewer characters per inch, occupy a larger area, and are more isolated tend to be more noticeable than warnings without these message design features (Swasy, Mazis, ; Morris, 1992).
Results from Laughery et al. show that when the severity of the potential hazard is substantial (e.g., with birth defects), only explicit information (e.g., “If you drink while you are pregnant, your child may be born with fetal alcohol syndrome and need institutionalization”) conveys the severity information adequately. Similarly, Beltramini (1988) has found that cigarette-warning labels noting specific risk outcomes (e.g., lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, fetal injury, premature birth) are significantly more believable than labels suggesting remedial action (e.g., quitting smoking) or harmful contents (e.g., carbon monoxide). After reading the article, Adolescents attention to beer and cigarette print ads and associated product warnings (Journal of Advertisement 1998); there are several comments that can help us analyze it from different points of view.
The article focuses on the impact of warnings on beer and cigarettes ads, and how young people pay or not pay attention to these, and if there is something involved on the way these warnings are presented within the ad. “YOUNG people see more television commercials for alcoholic beverages than they do for jeans, sneakers or acne creams, according to a new study from a health policy group”( Schwartz, 2002) something very similar occurs with print ads when on magazines or newspapers that are “supposed” to be for a very different type of audience (adults). “The company places so many advertisements in magazines with ”huge youth readerships,” like Sports Illustrated and Rolling Stone,” (Winter, 2002)
There has been lots controversy when it comes to advertisement campaigns and strategies of alcohol and cigarettes, and determining which their target audience is really when you can find ads on different media. But isn’t this purpose of advertising? According to one of many definitions, “Advertising is the non personal communication of information usually paid for and usually persuasive in nature about products, services or ideas by identified sponsors through the various media.” (Bov�e 1992) So we can see that no matter if you are advertising products such as alcohol, cigarettes, cereal, cars or any other product “The only purpose of advertising is to sell. It has no other justification worth mentioning”. (Raymond Rubicam).
But with these definitions and going back to the social context that alcohol and cigarettes represent in modern society despite the numerous efforts of letting everyone know about the risks and danger of this products, on the test conducted on teenagers mentioned on the article; it clearly shows that “adolescents have substantial interest in smoking and drinking” (Fox, 1998) no matter warnings. Why is that? Do characters such as Joe Camel have anything to? A 1991 survey in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that Joe Camel is as recognizable to 6-year-olds as Mickey Mouse.

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