HCBE Faculty Articles

Ad Scepticism and Retouch-Free Disclaimers: are They Worth it?

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Journal of Marketing Communications

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The present study analyses the impact of ad scepticism on the way consumers perceive advertising and process its effects, and considers the influence of ad disclaimers. We conduct an experiment that explores three different contexts, namely (1) the total absence of ad disclaimers, (2) the presence of a retouch-free disclaimer and (3) the presence of a retouched disclaimer. By showing how ad scepticism fits in the advertising attitudinal approach, and how new digital developments affect consumers’ processing of advertisements, the results of this experiment can contribute to the marketing literature and clarify relevant topics for practitioners. This paper shows the significant influence played by ad believability and attitude towards the ad on behavioural intentions. This underlines, particularly for marketing practitioners, the importance of an ad’s believability and the credibility of its claims in the sales outcome. Most importantly, the framework offered by this paper shifts the attention towards the believability of advertising disclaimers aimed at clarifying the use of digitally enhanced images.



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