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Centre for Behavioural
Research in Cancer

Pre-testing and evaluation of mass media communications in low and middle income countries

This project undertook qualitative and quantitative pre-testing of different types of tobacco control television advertisements among adult smokers in 20 low and middle income countries using a standard protocol. Reports were produced for each individual country to assist local deliberations by providing empirical evidence about whether minimal adaptation of existing tobacco control advertisements would be acceptable and likely to have impact among smokers in these countries. The study demonstrated that ads communicating the serious harms of tobacco in an emotive way using graphic images were most likely to be accepted and perceived as effective by smokers, followed by simulated health effects ads, health effects stories, other health effects ads, and then non-health effects ads. Graphic health effects ads were less likely to differ in acceptance or perceived effectiveness across countries, gender, age, education, parental status and amount smoked, and were less likely to be affected by cultural differences between characters and contexts in ads and those within each country. Ads that did not emphasize the health effects of smoking were most prone to inconsistent impact across countries and population subgroups. This project also provided input into the design and interpretation of mass media campaign evaluation studies using population surveys in some countries.

CBRC staff

Prof Melanie Wakefield, A/Prof Sarah Durkin, Megan Bayly


Sandra Mullin, Dr Nandita Murukutla, Trish Cotter and other colleagues at the World Lung Foundation


Bloomberg Philanthropies via the World Lung Foundation


2008 - 2013