ImpacTeen Research Papers
The Adaptation and Use of Nielsen Media Research Commercial Ratings Data to Measure Potential Exposure to Televised Smoking-Related Advertisements
Szczypka G, Emery S, Wakefield MA, Chaloupka FJ.
Televised anti-tobacco advertising in the US began with the Fairness Doctrine, which was in place between 1967 and 1970. More recently, anti-tobacco and smoking-related ads have proliferated as states, not-for-profit organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and even the tobacco industry have produced televised advertisements that promote, at least nominally, an anti-smoking or pro-cessation message. Evidence from the Fairness Doctrine years, along with several more recent studies of state-level counter-advertising campaigns suggest that broadcasting anti-smoking messages is an effective tobacco control strategy. Yet, most previous studies are limited because they typically have examined the impact of such advertising on smoking behavior in a single media market or state. Further, the majority of studies have examined only the state-sponsored tobacco control media campaigns; few have analyzed the influence of the variety of smoking-related advertisers on individual behavior.
The Youth Smoking and the Media (YSM) Project is able to take advantage of the natural experiment presented by the increasing number and variety of anti-smoking and smoking-related television advertisements because it has acquired and adapted a unique data set that quantifies exposure to television advertising across media markets and over time in the US. This paper describes the Nielsen Media Research data set, and the methods employed by YSM to 1) obtain a near census of anti-smoking and smoking-related television advertisements, and 2) to clean and aggregate this massive commercial data set so that it can be used to conduct research. The paper concludes with examples of the analyses that are possible with this unique data set.
Research Paper (PDF – 323KB)