Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to develop a set of research propositions concerned with how the alignment between socially responsible corporate image and corporate identity might be enhanced through the reduction of scepticism by considering diagnostic dimensions of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) image advertising claim.
Design/methodology/approach - The paper reviews corporate image advertising, the tool investigated for informing about the firm's CSR record, discusses the scepticism construct and theoretical explanations of why this communication approach might induce scepticism, considers extant empirical findings that lend support to these theories, and describes several elements of CSR advertising claims considered to be diagnostic and capable of inhibiting scepticism responses to CSR image advertisements among consumers. Research propositions are advanced and discussed.
Findings - The paper provides conceptual insights into reducing consumer scepticism toward CSR-based corporate identity communicated via corporate image advertising.
Research limitations/implications - The paper advances four research propositions, and proposes a method for testing these propositions.
Practical implications - The paper acknowledges the increase in CSR-based corporate image advertising, discusses why such communication approaches may be prone to consumer scepticism, and considers message elements to inhibit this persuasion-eroding cognitive response.
Originality/value - This paper suggests a study to understand how corporate identity based on CSR achievements can be more persuasively communicated via CSR-based corporate image advertising