Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 117, Issue 2, pp 297–311 | Cite as

Advertisement Disclaimer Speed and Corporate Social Responsibility: “Costs” to Consumer Comprehension and Effects on Brand Trust and Purchase Intention

Article

Abstract

It is not uncommon for advertisers to present required product disclaimers quickly at the end of advertisements. We show that fast disclaimers greatly reduce consumer comprehension of product risks and benefits, creating implications for social responsibility. In addition, across two studies, we found that disclaimer speed and brand familiarity interact to predict brand trust and purchase intention, and that brand trust mediated the interactive effect of brand familiarity and disclaimer speed on purchase intention. Our results indicate that fast disclaimers actually reduce brand trust and purchase intention for unfamiliar brands, suggesting that there are both economic and social responsibility reasons to use less rapid disclaimers for unfamiliar brands. Conversely, disclaimer speed had no negative effects on brand trust and purchase intention for highly familiar brands, presenting ethical tensions between economic interests (e.g., an efficient use of advertisement time) and social responsibility. We discuss the implications of our framework for advertising ethics, for corporate social performance, and for corporate social responsibility.

Keywords

Advertising ethics Brands Corporate social responsibility Corporate social performance Disclaimer speed Mediation Purchase intention Trust 

References

  1. Andrews, J. C., Burton, S., & Netemeyer, R. G. (2000). Are some comparative nutrition claims misleading? The role of nutrition knowledge, ad claim type and disclosure conditions. Journal of Advertising, 29(3), 29–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andrews, J. C., Netemeyer, R. G., & Durvasula, S. (1991). Effects of consumption frequency on believability and attitudes toward alcohol warning labels. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 25(2), 323–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Badaracco, J. L, Jr. (1992). Business ethics: Four spheres of responsibility. California Management Review, 34(3), 64–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bakir, A. (2009). “Some assembly required”: Comparing disclaimers in children’s TV advertising in Turkey and the United States. Journal of Advertising Research, 49(1), 93–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barney, J. B., & Hansen, M. B. (1994). Trustworthiness as a source of competitive advantage. Strategic Management Journal, 15(2), 175–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(6), 1173–1182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Carver, R. P. (1973). Effect of increasing the rate of speech presentation on comprehension. Journal of Educational Psychology, 65(1), 118–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chaiken, S., Liberman, A., & Eagly, A. (1989). Heuristic and systematic processing within and beyond the persuasion context. In J. S. Uleman & J. A. Bargh (Eds.), Unintended thought (pp. 212–252). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  9. Clarkson, M. B. E. (1995). A stakeholder framework for analyzing and evaluating corporate social performance. Academy of Management Review, 20(1), 92–117.Google Scholar
  10. Dauw, S. Z., Zui, C. L., & O’Neal, G. (2011). Mr. Risk! Please trust me: Trust antecedents that increase online consumer purchase intention. Journal of Internet Banking and Commerce, 16(3), 1–23.Google Scholar
  11. Dodge, T., & Kaufman, A. (2007). What makes consumers think dietary supplements are safe and effective? The role of disclaimers and FDA approval. Health Psychology, 26(4), 513–517.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Drumwright, M. E., & Murphy, P. E. (2009). The current state of advertising ethics: Industry and academic perspectives. Journal of Advertising, 38(1), 83–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Eagley, A. H., & Chaiken, S. (1993). The psychology of attitudes. Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.Google Scholar
  14. Gioia, D. A. (1999). Practicability, paradigms, and problems of stakeholder theorizing. Academy of Management Review, 24(2), 228–232.Google Scholar
  15. Hausfeld, S. (1981). Speeded reading and listening comprehension for easy and difficult materials. Journal of Educational Psychology, 73(3), 312–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Heath, R. (2000). Low involvement processing—a new model of brands and advertising. International Journal of Advertising, 19(3), 287–298.Google Scholar
  17. Herbst, K. C., & Allan, D. (2006). The effects of brand experience and an advertisement’s disclaimer speed on purchase: Speak slowly or carry a big brand. International Journal of Advertising, 25(2), 213–222.Google Scholar
  18. Herbst, K. C., Finkel, E. J., Allan, D., & Fitzsimons, G. M. (2012). On the dangers of pulling a fast one: Advertisement disclaimer speed, brand trust, and purchase intention. Journal of Consumer Research, 38(5), 909–919.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hoek, J., Gendall, P., Rapson, L., & Louviere, J. (2011). Information accessibility and consumers’ knowledge of prescription drug benefits and risks. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 45(2), 248–274.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Holmes, J. G., & Rempel, J. K. (1989). Trust in close relationships. In C. Hendrick (Ed.), Review of personality and social psychology (Vol. 10, pp. 187–220). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  21. Jones, T. M. (1995). Instrumental stakeholder theory: A synthesis of ethics and economics. Academy of Management Review, 20(2), 404–437.Google Scholar
  22. Jones, T. M., & Bowie, N. E. (1998). Moral hazards on the road to the ‘virtual’ corporation. Business Ethics Quarterly, 8(2), 273–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kavadas, C., Katsanis, L. P., & LeBel, J. (2007). The effects of risk disclosure and ad involvement on consumers in DTC advertising. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 24(3), 171–179.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Kerr, G., Johnston, K. A., & Beatson, A. (2008). A framework of corporate social responsibility for advertising accountability: The case of Australian government advertising campaign. Journal of Marketing Communications, 14(2), 155–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kim, J. (2012). An empirical study on consumer first purchase intention in online shopping: Integrating initial trust and TAM. Electronic Commerce Research, 12(2), 125–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lee, M. D. P. (2008). A review of the theories of corporate social responsibility: Its evolutionary path and the road ahead. International Journal of Management Reviews, 10(1), 53–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lewicki, R. J., McAllister, D. J., & Bies, R. J. (1998). Trust and distrust: New relationships and realities. Academy of Management Review, 23(3), 438–458.Google Scholar
  28. Margolis, J. D., & Walsh, J. P. (2003). Misery loves companies: Rethinking social initiatives by business. Administrative Sciences Quarterly, 48(2), 268–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mason, M. J., Scammon, D. L., & Fang, X. (2007). The impact of warnings, disclaimers, and product experience on consumers’ perceptions of dietary supplements. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 41(1), 74–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mayer, R. C., Davis, J. H., & Shoorman, F. D. (1995). An integrative model of organizational trust. Academy of Management Review, 20(3), 709–734.Google Scholar
  31. McGuire, W. J. (1981). The probabilogical model of cognitive structure and attitude change. In R. E. Petty, T. M. Ostrom, & T. C. Brock (Eds.), Cognitive responses in persuasion (pp. 291–307). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  32. Muller, D., Judd, C. M., & Yzerbyt, V. Y. (2005). When moderation is mediated and mediation is moderated. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89(6), 852–863.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Newstead, K., & Romaniuk, J. (2010). Cost per second: The relative effectiveness of 15- and 30-second television advertisements. Journal of Advertising Research, 50(1), 68–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. O’Higgins, E. R. E. (2010). Corporations, civil society, and stakeholders: An organizational conceptualization. Journal of Business Ethics, 94(2), 157–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Petty, R. E., & Cacioppo, J. T. (1986). Communication and persuasion: Central and peripheral routes to attitude change. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  36. Petty, R. E., Cacioppo, J. T., & Schumann, D. (1983). Central and peripheral routes to advertising effectiveness: The moderating role of involvement. Journal of Consumer Research, 10(2), 135–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Petty, R. E., & Wegener, D. T. (1999). The elaboration likelihood model: Current status and controversies. In S. Chaiken & Y. Trope (Eds.), Dual process theories in social psychology (pp. 41–72). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  38. Quaresima, R. (2011, April 20). Personal communication on FTC’s policy regarding disclosure speed regulation. Federal Trade Commission, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  39. Sabel, C. F. (1993). Studied trust: Building new forms of cooperation in a volatile economy. Human Relations, 46(9), 1133–1170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sansgiry, S. S., Cady, P. S., & Sansgiry, S. (2001). Consumer involvement: Effects on information processing from over-the-counter medication labels. Health Marketing Quarterly, 19(1), 61–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Schneider, B. A., Daneman, M., & Murphy, D. R. (2005). Speech comprehension difficulties in older adults: Cognitive slowing or age-related changes in hearing?’. Psychology and Aging, 20(2), 261–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Schoonhoven, C. B. (1981). Problems with contingency theory: Testing assumptions hidden within the language of contingency theory. Administrative Science Quarterly, 26(3), 349–377.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Schoorman, D. F., Mayer, R. C., & Davis, J. H. (2007). An integrative model of organizational trust: Past, present, and future. Academy of Management Review, 32(2), 344–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Smith, N. C. (2003). Corporate social responsibility: Whether or how?’. California Management Review, 45(4), 52–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Sobel, M. E. (1982). Asymptotic confidence intervals for indirect effects in structural equations models. In S. Leinhart (Ed.), Sociological methodology (pp. 290–312). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  46. Stern, B. L., & Harmon, R. R. (1984). The incidence and characteristics of disclaimers in children’s television advertising. Journal of Advertising, 13(2), 12–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Stutts, M. A., & Hunnicutt, G. G. (1987). Can young children understand disclaimers in television commercials? Journal of Advertising, 16(1), 41–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. van de Pol, P. K. C., & de Bakker, F. G. A. (2010). Direct-to-consumer advertising or pharmaceuticals as a matter of corporate social responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 94(2), 211–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Wang, A. (2008). Dimensions of corporate social responsibility and advertising practice. Corporate Reputation Review, 11(2), 155–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Wingfield, A., Peelle, J. E., & Grossman, M. (2003). Speech rate and syntactic complexity as multiplicative factors in speech comprehension by young and older adults. Aging Neuropsychology and Cognition, 10(4), 310–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Wood, D. (1991). Corporate social performance revisited. Academy of Management Review, 16(4), 691–718.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth C. Herbst
    • 1
  • Sean T. Hannah
    • 2
  • David Allan
    • 3
  1. 1.Schools of BusinessWake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemUSA
  2. 2.Schools of BusinessWake Forest UniversityWinston-SalemUSA
  3. 3.Haub School of BusinessSaint Joseph’s UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations