Marketing professor honored for study on nutrition claims in advertising


June 24, 2013

Dr. Craig Andrews, professor and Charles H. Kellstadt Chair in Marketing, has been recognized by the American Marketing Association with the 2013 Thomas C. Kinnear/Journal of Public Policy & Marketing Award for his article, “The Nutrition Elite: Do Only the Highest Levels of Caloric Knowledge, Obesity Knowledge, and Motivation Matter in Processing Nutrition Ad Claims and Disclosures?” The study appeared in the spring 2009 issue of Journal of Public Policy & Marketing.

The award honors articles published in Journal of Public Policy & Marketing that have made a significant contribution to the understanding of marketing and public policy issues within the past three years. Andrews also won the award last year for his 2010 JPPM article with colleagues titled, “Understanding How Graphic Pictorial Warnings Work on Cigarette Packaging.”

In the study honored this year, Andrews and co-authors Richard G. Netemeyer (University of Virginia) and Scot Burton (University of Arkansas) examined what role high levels of knowledge about calories, obesity consequences and motivation to search for nutrition information play in how individuals process relative nutrient content claims in advertisements, such as “half the calories” or “half the fat,” for products relatively high in total calorie levels.

The study found that those with the highest levels of knowledge about calories, obesity consequences and motivation to search for nutrition information were less like to purchase the high calorie product featured in ads claiming relative nutritional benefits.

According to Andrews and his colleagues, the findings have clear marketing and public policy implications. For example, based on their results, they wonder “whether achieving such exceedingly high levels of nutrition knowledge and motivation is realistic for the general public in light of other policy alternatives (e.g., reduced serving sizes, standardized front-of-package icons).”

Andrews has served recently on the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s Risk Communication Advisory Committee in Washington, D.C.  He is planning to continue work on his nutrition labeling and tobacco warning research next year as a staff fellow at the FDA.  Andrews also has been editor of the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing and served as a consumer research specialist in the Division of Advertising Practices with the Federal Trade Commission, earning the FTC’s Award for Meritorious Service. He is the co-author with Terence Shimp (University of South Carolina) of the market-leading text, Advertising, Promotion, and other aspects of Integrated Marketing Communications (9th ed.), published recently by South-Western Cengage Learning.