Publication Details

Pomering, A., Johnson, L. W. & Noble, G. (2013). Advertising corporate social responsibility: results from an experimental manipulation of key message variables. Corporate Communications: an international journal, 18 (2), 249-263.


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine how social topic information (STI) and corporate social responsibility commitment (CSRC) substantiate the firm's CSR claims and promote message persuasion.

Design/methodology/approach: A 2x2 between-subjects experimental design was used to examine the impact of STI and CSRC on output variables using an online sample of 176 participants in Australia.

Findings: The study found that manipulation of STI had a statistically significant impact on outcome variables, but that CSRC did not.

Research limitations/implications: The study was limited to Australia and used a fictitious brand in the experiment. Practical implications: For marketing communications and brand managers, this study informs CSR-based corporate image advertising. Social implications: Support for more socially responsible businesses through responsible consumption can potentially transform product attributes and markets. More effective CSR communication is critical to this response.

Originality/value: To date, no research has examined how consumer persuasion of CSR advertising claims might be enhanced using message variables. This study has implications for theory and practice for the effective communication of pro-social achievements, and suggests further research areas.

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