Food Advertising in Movies, Young Children's Food Choices, and What We Need to Know to Protect Them from Implicit Advertising Effects


Overweight and obesity are some of the greatest health challenges of the 21st century and are regarded as one of the principal causes of the cost explosion due to chronic illness. An important part here is played by the messages directed at children by the food industry through frequent advertising of unhealthy products. Despite the high level of topicality and relevance of the subject, the empirical basis for assessment of the effects on product preferences and children’s selection behavior due to implicit persuasion, for example in consequence of integrative forms of advertising such as product placement, is still very weak. Findings on the behavior of younger children gained in real reception and purchasing situations - with all the typically competing influences - are almost entirely lacking. The study meets both challenges with a unique field experiment using two age groups (between 3 and 8 years) in a real-world setting. This is expected to lead to significant conclusions with respect to implications for media and advertising literacy and to make a soundly based contribution to the international debate on the effects of implicit persuasion.


Mixed funds (ORF Enterprise)

CMC Staff

Maren B. M. Beaufort (Project leader)


Interviewing and Observation:

Michele Ganguly

Annika Kafka

Andrea Spielbichler


2016 Top Student Paper Award of the ICA Division “Children, Adolescents and the Media” (CAM) for Maren Beaufort’s paper “How Candy Placements in Films Influence Children’s Selection Behavior in Real Life Shopping Scenarios”



  • 29/05/2017 , San Diego, CA
    Maren Beaufort: 
    Exploring the role of product placements for children's obesity-related shopping behavior
    67th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association (ICA)
  • 10/11/2016 , Prag
    Maren Beaufort: 
    The impact of product placements in films on food choices and buying behavior of young children in a real-life setting
    6th European Communication Conference of the European Research Communication Association (ECREA)
  • 05/08/2016 , Minneapolis
    Maren Beaufort: 
    The moderating role of age on behavioral effects of product placements in a real-world setting
    99th Annual Convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)
  • 06/07/2016 , Munich
    Maren Beaufort: 
    Wirkungsbedingungen integrativer Werbeformen in Filmen auf das Produktauswahlverhalten von (Klein-)Kindern und ihre Implikationen für die Entwicklung von Medien- und Konsumentenkompetenz
    Seminar, Ludwig Maximilians University (LMU)
  • 10/06/2016 , Fukuoka
    Maren Beaufort: 
    How candy placements in films influence children's selection behavior in real-life shopping scenarios
    66th annual conference of the International Communication Association (ICA)

Books and Monographs

Books and Monographs

  • Beaufort, M. (2015). What you see is what you buy: The impact of product placements in films on food choices and buying behavior of young children in a real world setting.

Articles and Book Chapters

Articles and Book Chapters

  • Schmuck, D., Matthes, J., Naderer, B., & Beaufort, M. (2017). The effects of environmental brand attributes and nature imagery in green advertising on brand attitude and purchase intention. Environmental Communication. Retrieved from

In the Media

Maren Beaufort on product placements and their effects on children’s shopping behavior: Ö1 - matrix: „Süße Versuchungen“ (29.05.2016)