- CSR and skepticism: the influence of fit and reputation on skepticism towards CSR communications
- 15th International Corporate and Marketing Communications Conference 2010
- Book/source title
- CMC 2010: corporate and marketing communications in times of growth and times of crisis: conference proceedings: 15th International Conference on Corporate and Marketing Communications: 2010 April 21-23
- Pages (from-to)
- Aarhus: Aarhus School of Business, Aarhus University
- Document type
- Conference contribution
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
Consumers tend to be skeptic sometimes towards CSR outlets or communication of companies. In this experiment we tested the influence of fit and reputation on consumer skepticism when confronted with a Cause Related Marketing advertisement.
In a two (Fit versus no Fit) by three (bad reputation, unknown reputation and good reputation) between subjects experimental design, 160 respondents were offered different versions of an advertisement of a virtual toilet paper brand.
The results of this study show that the lowest levels of skepticism were found when we manipulated a good reputation and a good fit between the company and the CSR domain.
We used a virtual brand and organization in this experiment. Reputations are most frequently formed by various impressions; we only had one manipulation of reputation with a newspaper article.
Companies are more and more involved in CSR activities, and, since doing good needs to be told to the world, often use various forms of communication to inform the public. With this experiment we show that organizations need to be careful in communicating about their CSR.
Current studies on Fit most frequently have controversial manipulations of Fit. In this study we wanted to test the influence of fit and different levels of reputation of a company on skepticism, purchase intentions and attitudes towards the company.