International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 63, Issue 6, pp 733–742 | Cite as

Marketing techniques in television advertisements of food and drinks directed at children in Spain, 2012

  • Karimen León-FlándezEmail author
  • Miguel Ángel Royo-Bordonada
  • María Ángeles Moya-Geromini
  • María José Bosqued-Estefanía
  • Lázaro López-Jurado
  • Javier Damián
Original Article



To analyse marketing techniques used in television advertisements of food and drinks (AFDs) directed to children, and their nutritional quality.


This is a cross-sectional study of television AFDs directed to children in Spain over 7 days in 2012. Primary appeal, persuasive and nutritional marketing techniques, and links to Internet were registered. The foods were classified according to their nutritional quality using an international codification system and the UK nutrient profile model. Frequency of AFDs using marketing techniques and percentages for unhealthy products were calculated.


Taste and fun were the main primary appeals used. Persuasive and nutritional marketing techniques and links to Internet were used in 61%, 68.5% and 65.2% of AFDs, respectively. These techniques were more common during weekdays, enhanced protection time slots and on channels with particular appeal to children. More than two-thirds of AFDs using these techniques were for unhealthy products, reaching 96.2% of AFDs with premium offers and gifts.


There is an extensive use of marketing techniques in television AFDs directed to children in Spain. Most products advertised were unhealthy, so stronger governmental regulations are required.


Children Food advertising Food marketing Marketing techniques Television 



This project was supported by the Spanish Health Research Fund of the Institute of Health Carlos III (Project ENPY 1015/13).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

K. León-Flández on behalf of all authors declares that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

38_2018_1085_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (414 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 413 kb)


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karimen León-Flández
    • 1
    Email author
  • Miguel Ángel Royo-Bordonada
    • 2
  • María Ángeles Moya-Geromini
    • 2
  • María José Bosqued-Estefanía
    • 2
  • Lázaro López-Jurado
    • 2
  • Javier Damián
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Preventive Medicine and Public HealthComplutense University of MadridMadridSpain
  2. 2.National School of Public HealthInstitute of Health Carlos IIIMadridSpain
  3. 3.Department of Applied Epidemiology, National Center of EpidemiologyInstitute of Health Carlos IIIMadridSpain

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