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Title: Mediating science and nature: Representing and consuming infant formula advertising in China
Authors: Gong, Qian
Jackson, Peter
First Published: 9-Apr-2013
Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd.
Citation: European Journal of Cultural Studies, 2013, 16 (3), pp. 285-309 (25)
Abstract: This article analyses the representation and consumption of infant formula advertising on Chinese television, following the food scare of 2008 when milk supplies were contaminated with the poisonous chemical melamine. Drawing on the concepts of encoding/decoding and ‘circuit of culture’, the article investigates how the Chinese dairy industry encodes the messages of food safety and quality in their advertisements, and how parents decode these messages as part of their daily risk management strategies. Combining a critical analysis of advertising imagery with focus group and interview evidence regarding its consumption, the article suggests that the dairy industry juxtaposed images of science and nature to mediate messages about the quality and safety of infant formula. The study’s evidence confirms that Chinese consumers decode these messages based on their previous experience and knowledge, exhibiting considerable ambivalence about the advertising of infant formula and reflecting significant anxiety about the product’s quality and safety.
DOI Link: 10.1177/1367549413476013
ISSN: 1367-5494
eISSN: 1460-3551
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO and publisher website. Version of record:
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Media and Communication

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