Background: Although there is some evidence to support an association between exposure to televised tobacco control campaigns and recall among youth, little research has been conducted among adults. In addition, no previous work has directly compared the impact of different types of emotive campaign content. The present study examined the impact of increased exposure to tobacco control advertising with different types of emotive content on rates and durations of self-reported recall.
Methods: Data on recall of televised campaigns from 1,968 adult smokers residing in England through four waves of the International Tobacco Control (ITC) United Kingdom Survey from 2005 to 2009 were merged with estimates of per capita exposure to government-run televised tobacco control advertising (measured in GRPs, or Gross Rating Points), which were categorised as either "positive" or "negative" according to their emotional content.
Results: Increased overall campaign exposure was found to significantly increase probability of recall. For every additional 1,000 GRPs of per capita exposure to negative emotive campaigns in the six months prior to survey, there was a 41% increase in likelihood of recall (OR = 1.41, 95% CI: 1.24-1.61), while positive campaigns had no significant effect. Increased exposure to negative campaigns in both the 1-3 months and 4-6 month periods before survey was positively associated with recall.
Conclusions: Increased per capita exposure to negative emotive campaigns had a greater effect on campaign recall than positive campaigns, and was positively associated with increased recall even when the exposure had occurred more than three months previously.