Depictions of self-inflicted versus blameless victims for nonprofits employing print advertisements

Kevin J. Shanahan, Christopher D. Hopkins, Les Carlson, Mary Anne Raymond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

Extant literature over the last couple of years has examined factors affecting donor proclivity to contribute to nonprofits. These studies focused on factors such as negative emotional response to the ad and perceived social responsibility of the sponsor on intent to donate to the sponsor, the use of implicature, and truth in advertising. Our research adds to this growing body of literature by investigating the effect of self-inflicted harm versus blameless victimization in nonprofit advertising (locus of control of the harm to the victim). We find that blameless victim portrayal results in higher negative emotional response to the public service announcement (PSA), perceived social responsibility of the sponsor, and willingness to donate to the sponsor of a PSA. Specifically, the use of blameless victims seems to have the added benefit of generating more positive perceptions of the sponsor, which, in turn, also leads to higher intentions to donate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-74
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Advertising
Volume41
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Communication
  • Marketing

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