Research Note: Sample size in content analysis of advertising: the case of Chilean consumer magazines

Rodrigo Uribe and Enrique Manzur

Universidad de Chile


In the field of marketing communication studies, one of the key areas of research is message content analysis. A recurrent problem among scholars is determining the best way to sample advertisements and the exact numbers of units required to make precise inferences about the content of these pieces of communication. In practice, this has resulted in a wide variety of samples sizes and strategies across studies (Stempel 1952; Riffe et al. 1998; Neuendorf 2002). In fact, a brief examination of the content analyses of advertising published from 2000 to 2008 and indexed in EBSCO Business Premier1 corroborates the wide variety of sampling strategies used by researchers.