#ad on Instagram: Investigating the Promotion of Food and Beverage Products

Rebecca Reagan, Sonia Filice, Sara Santarossa, Sarah J. Woodruff

Abstract


The recent rise in popularity of social networking sites has prompted modern-day food and beverage companies to switch their marketing objectives from the traditional top-down strategies to a peer-to-peer approach, utilizing social media influencers to promote products online. The current study investigated the promotion of food and beverage products on Instagram tagged with #ad. Findings of this study indicated that the majority of food and beverage products promoted were processed, premade, and not considered healthy in nature. In addition, the majority of authors did not list credentials on their Instagram pages thereby making it unaware if they were credible sources of nutrition information. An overall positive audience reaction to images suggests a low message resistance to food and beverage products advertised on Instagram. These findings support the implementation of policies targeted at online food and beverage marketers, as well as the further development of public health initiatives involving digital literacy education specific to food and beverage marketing.


Keywords


Instagram; food; beverage; advertisement; influencer

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References


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