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Keywords:

  • food;
  • alcohol drinking;
  • marketing;
  • sports

Abstract

Objective: To analyse sports sponsorship by food and alcohol companies by quantifying the proportion of time that the main sponsor's logo was seen during each of three cricket telecasts, the extent of paid advertising during the telecast and the contribution by the main sponsor to this, and to describe the associated ground advertising.

Methods: DVD recordings of the three telecasts were analysed for visibility of the main sponsor's logo during actual playing time and for each sponsor's proportion of the advertising time during breaks in telecast.

Results: The main sponsor's logo was visible on a range of equipment and clothing that resulted in it being clearly identifiable from 44% to 74% of the game time. The proportion of paid advertising time in these three telecasts varied from 3% to 20%, reflecting the difference in advertising content of paid television versus free-to-air.

Implications: While television food advertising to children is under review, sporting telecasts also reach children and, until recently, have avoided scrutiny. This content analysis of three recent cricket telecasts reveals an unacceptable level of exposure to food and alcohol marketing, particularly in the form of the main sponsor's logo. Sponsorship is not covered by the voluntary codes of practice that address some forms of advertising. A new system of regulation is required to reduce this unacceptable level of exposure.