Information content of television advertising in China: An update

Kara K W CHAN*, Fanny Chan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The current study was an update of Chan's (1995) study of television advertising conducted in 1993 in China. A content analysis of 386 Chinese television commercials in 2002 was conducted. The Resnik and Stern evaluation criteria were adopted to determine the level of advertising information content in television commercials. Compared to the previous study in 1993, Chinese commercials were becoming less informative. The percentage of informative ads dropped from 58% in 1993 to 55% in 2002. The average information cue dropped from 1.5 cues in 1993 to 1.3 cues in 2002 in each commercial classified as informative. The three most frequently used information cues were the same as in the last study, namely, performance, components/contents, and quality. Non-durables and pharmaceutical advertising remained as the most informative while liquor advertising was again the least informative. Information content was found dependent on characteristics of the broadcast channels but not duration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalAsian Journal of Communication
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Education

User-Defined Keywords

  • China
  • Content Analysis
  • Informative
  • Television Advertising


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