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The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Business Administration

No 2011:8:
Advertising Media and the Green Environmental Aspect

Claudia A. Rademaker ()

Abstract:

Previous research has shown that consumer trust in advertising is low and continues to diminish. Researchers have also found that a big share of advertising investments is placed in less favorable media which can contribute to consumers’ increasing disbelief towards advertising. The results of the present study add to these previous findings by showing that the consumers’ trust levels in advertising vary among the 11 different media studied and that the marketing managers’ beliefs about consumers are not consistent with the consumers’ attitudes toward and usage of advertising media. Ignoring this phenomenon may have consequences for companies investing in less favorable media and thereby adding to consumers’ increasing disbelief towards advertising.

The greatest discrepancy was found for ads on TV. The marketing managers seem to believe incorrectly that ads on TV are not only more trusted but also more used by consumers than the consumers claim. The consumers were found to have more negative attitudes toward TV advertising than what the marketing managers believe about consumers. TV is also perceived by the consumers as more harmful for the green environment than the marketing managers believe about consumers.

The results show that the consumers have more positive attitudes toward direct marketing than the marketing managers believe about them. The consumers perceive direct marketing as better, less irritating and less harmful for the environment compared to the marketing managers’ beliefs about them. In addition, the consumers claim to make more use of ads in many of the paper-based media than TV advertising when they want to buy different products. This was found to be not consistent with the marketing managers’ beliefs about consumers. The consumers were found to have more negative attitudes toward advertising through the mobile phone than the marketing managers believe about consumers. Advertising through the mobile phone is considered by the consumers as one of the worst, most irritating and least trusted medium among the 11 advertising media studied. Moreover, the consumers consider the mobile phone to be more harmful for the green environment compared to the marketing managers’ beliefs about consumers.

The results also show that the marketing managers feel more personal responsible towards caring for the green environment than the consumers. In addition, both the marketing managers and the consumers were found to have equally high demands and expectations of organizations to act responsibly toward the green environment. This contradicts previous findings that showed that the green environmental aspect is among the factors that are the least considered when marketing managers work with marketing communication in general and advertising media selection in particular. Furthermore, this study found that green environmental responsibility attitude (GERA) is weakly related to the perception on the green environmental aspect of advertising media. Thus, the discrepancies found in this study between the consumers and marketing managers regarding their green environmental perceptions on the 11 different advertising media should be explained by other factors.

Keywords: Advertising Media; Attitudes; Consumers; Marketing Managers; Green Environment; Green Environmental Responsibility Attitude (GERA); (follow links to similar papers)

47 pages, December 7, 2011

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