A content analysis of outdoor non-alcoholic beverage advertisements in Ghana

Marie A. Bragg, Tamara Hardoby, Natasha G. Pandit, Yemi R. Raji, Gbenga Ogedegbe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives This was a two-part descriptive study designed to (1) assess the marketing themes and sugar content of beverages promoted in outdoor advertisements (ads) within a portion of Accra, Ghana and (2) quantify the types of ads that appeared along the Accra-Cape Coast Highway. Setting A 4.7 km 2 area of Accra, Ghana and a 151 km region along the highway represented the target areas for collecting photos of outdoor beverage ads. Primary and secondary outcome measures Number and types of beverage ads, sugar content of beverage products featured in ads and marketing themes used in ads. Design Two researchers photographed outdoor beverage ads in a 4.7 km 2 area of Accra and used content analysis to assess marketing themes of ads, including the portrayal of children, local culture, music, sports and health. Researchers also recorded the number and type of ads along a 151 km stretch of the Accra-Cape Coast Highway. Researchers assessed the added sugar content to determine which beverages were sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). Results Seventy-seven photographed ads were analysed. Seventy-three per cent (72.7%) of ads featured SSBs, and Coca-Cola accounted for 59.7% of ads. Sixty-five per cent (64.9%) of all ads featured sodas, while 35.1% advertised energy drinks, bottled or canned juice drinks and coffee-based, milk-based and water-based beverages. Thirteen per cent (13%) of ads featured children and 5.2% were located near schools or playgrounds. Nine per cent (9.1%) of ads contained a reference to health and 7.8% contained a reference to fitness/strength/sport. Along the Accra-Cape Coast Highway, Coca-Cola accounted for 60% of branded ads. Conclusion This study demonstrates the frequency of outdoor SSB ads within a 4.7 km 2 area of Accra, Ghana. Coca-Cola was featured in the majority of ads, and the child-targeted nature of some ads indicates a need to expand the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative pledge to reduce child-targeted marketing on a global scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere012313
JournalBMJ open
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • Food marketing
  • Ghana
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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