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Good ethics is good for business: Ethical attributions and response to environmental advertising

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Abstract

Researchers have used attribution theory as a basis for exploring the relationship between consumers' inferences of advertiser motivation (attributions) and advertising response. This study postulated the existence of two new types of attributions which relate to the perceived ethics of the advertiser (advertiser ethical attributions) and the advertising message (message ethical attributions). Research conducted among a nationally representative sample of 273 adults: (1) verified the existence of both advertiser and message ethical attributions, (2) demonstrated the independence of advertiser and message ethical attributions both from each other and from other measures of advertiser and message evaluation, (3) identified the specific advertising characteristics which lead to the formation of each type of ethical attribution and (4) demonstrated a significant relationship between advertiser and message ethical attributions and measures of advertising response.

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Dr. Joel J. Davis is Assistant Professor of Journalism, School of Communication, at San Diego State University. Dr. Davis' interests include environmental marketing, marketing strategy and marketing ethics. He has published in these areas in theJournal of Business Ethics, Journalism Quarterly andSAM Advanced Management Journal.

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Davis, J.J. Good ethics is good for business: Ethical attributions and response to environmental advertising. J Bus Ethics 13, 873–885 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00871701

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