Children and television advertisement disclaimers: An investigation of the impact of disclaimer explicitness on understanding of intended disclaimer messages and accuracy of product expectations

Date of Completion

January 1999


Business Administration, Marketing|Mass Communications




This dissertation hypothesizes and tests a model of how children process and make sense of disclaimers in television advertisements. An experimental design is employed to examine the effect of disclaimer explicitness on preschool children's understanding of disclaimer messages while controlling for other potentially influential factors such as prior familiarity with products advertised, level of cognitive development and attention to disclaimers. This study also examines the degree to which children use their understanding of disclaimer messages to update their expectations of the capabilities or limitations of products advertised. A causal model is tested and the results suggest that disclaimer wording influences attention to disclaimers, but that more simply worded disclaimers do not guarantee better understanding of disclaimer messages as prior research has suggested. Instead, level of cognitive development has a greater impact on understanding of disclaimers than does disclaimer explicitness. ^