- Scepticism and corporate social responsibility communications: the influence of fit and reputation
- Journal of Marketing Communications
- Volume | Issue number
- 19 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
Consumers tend to be sceptical about companies' corporate social responsibility (CSR) communications. We tested the influence of fit and reputation on consumer scepticism when confronted with a cause-related marketing (CRM) advertisement. In a 2 (fit vs. no fit) by 3 (bad reputation, unknown reputation, good reputation) between-subjects experimental design, 160 respondents were offered different versions of an advertisement for a fictitious brand of toilet paper. The lowest levels of scepticism were found when we manipulated a good reputation and a good fit between the company and the CSR domain. Companies are increasingly involved in CSR activities, and since doing good needs to be broadcast to the world; they often use various forms of communication to inform the public. Our results show that organizations need to be careful when communicating about their CSR.
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