Communicating corporate social responsibility through corporate image advertising
This chapter provides a discussion of the use of corporate image advertising to communicate the socially responsible identity claims of a corporation, an increasingly popular marketing communications technique. A brief history of corporate image advertising is provided, and its role, as it relates to corporate identity, and reputation, is explained. Why this marketing communication technique might inspire scrutiny from stakeholder audiences, particularly consumers, is discussed, drawing on extant information-processing theories and the contextual characteristics of corporate social responsibility-based identity portrayal using advertising. Examples are provided to illustrate the discussion. A recent experimental study investigating the manipulation of message variables to inhibit the formation of consumer skepticism toward such advertising messages is described and its results reported. Future research directions are also suggested.