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Environmental claims in Indian print advertising: an empirical study and policy recommendation

Environmental claims in Indian print advertising: an empirical study and policy recommendation <jats:sec><jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Purpose</jats:title> <jats:p>Environmental claims in advertising (green ads) provide competitive advantage to firms. This study aims to understand what kinds of environmental claims advertisers make in a developing nation like India. Further, implications for policymakers and advertisers are discussed.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec><jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Design/methodology/approach</jats:title> <jats:p>A content analysis of 279 green print advertisements was conducted using a comprehensive list of claim categories identified from the advertising literature. These categories included advertiser profile; ad promotions – type, sector, appeal; claim – nature, type, focus, validity, emphasis; executional elements – illustration setting, presenter, format/structure and environmental issue, identified from past studies and practitioner interviews.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec><jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Findings</jats:title> <jats:p>The findings suggest that majority of the advertisers using green ads are manufacturers. Consumer durables, real estate and power sector together constitute one-third of the total green ads. Further, most of the green ads are aimed at influencing consumer behaviour. Though most of the ads contain strong emphasis on environmental attributes, they are ambiguous. A large proportion of claims are credence in nature and lack product identification through environmental certifications. This study also identifies areas of concern including interpretation of the term green, use of multiple certifications, greenwashing and advertisers showing environmental responsiveness through event-based green advertising. Policy recommendations are made based on green advertising regulations governing them across developed and other developing countries.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec><jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Research limitations/implications</jats:title> <jats:p>The content analysis of the green advertisements in this study was limited to newspaper advertisements within the print media. Future studies may use advertisements from different media types, such as the internet ads and television commercials, to examine the effect of media type on the nature of green advertisements. It would also be interesting to examine the role of regulations as a moderator, influencing the claims made in green advertisements.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec><jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Practical implications</jats:title> <jats:p>The findings of this study provide a comprehensive overview of the nature of green advertisements in India. Marketers may use these insights to design effective green advertising strategies.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec><jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Originality/value</jats:title> <jats:p>Most of the extant literature has examined environmental claims in the context of developed nations, where regulations are well established. Very few studies have examined this issue in the context of developing countries. In addition, most of the previous studies have focused on specific issues like greenwashing, appeals and execution elements. The present study contributes to green advertising by examining environmental claims in case of a developing nation like India using a comprehensive list of claim categories. This study also identifies areas of concern and suggests recommendations for policymakers and advertisers.</jats:p> </jats:sec> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Responsibility Journal CrossRef

Environmental claims in Indian print advertising: an empirical study and policy recommendation

Social Responsibility Journal , Volume 13 (3): 473-490 – Aug 7, 2017

Environmental claims in Indian print advertising: an empirical study and policy recommendation


Abstract

<jats:sec><jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Purpose</jats:title>
<jats:p>Environmental claims in advertising (green ads) provide competitive advantage to firms. This study aims to understand what kinds of environmental claims advertisers make in a developing nation like India. Further, implications for policymakers and advertisers are discussed.</jats:p>
</jats:sec>
<jats:sec><jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Design/methodology/approach</jats:title>
<jats:p>A content analysis of 279 green print advertisements was conducted using a comprehensive list of claim categories identified from the advertising literature. These categories included advertiser profile; ad promotions – type, sector, appeal; claim – nature, type, focus, validity, emphasis; executional elements – illustration setting, presenter, format/structure and environmental issue, identified from past studies and practitioner interviews.</jats:p>
</jats:sec>
<jats:sec><jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Findings</jats:title>
<jats:p>The findings suggest that majority of the advertisers using green ads are manufacturers. Consumer durables, real estate and power sector together constitute one-third of the total green ads. Further, most of the green ads are aimed at influencing consumer behaviour. Though most of the ads contain strong emphasis on environmental attributes, they are ambiguous. A large proportion of claims are credence in nature and lack product identification through environmental certifications. This study also identifies areas of concern including interpretation of the term green, use of multiple certifications, greenwashing and advertisers showing environmental responsiveness through event-based green advertising. Policy recommendations are made based on green advertising regulations governing them across developed and other developing countries.</jats:p>
</jats:sec>
<jats:sec><jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Research limitations/implications</jats:title>
<jats:p>The content analysis of the green advertisements in this study was limited to newspaper advertisements within the print media. Future studies may use advertisements from different media types, such as the internet ads and television commercials, to examine the effect of media type on the nature of green advertisements. It would also be interesting to examine the role of regulations as a moderator, influencing the claims made in green advertisements.</jats:p>
</jats:sec>
<jats:sec><jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Practical implications</jats:title>
<jats:p>The findings of this study provide a comprehensive overview of the nature of green advertisements in India. Marketers may use these insights to design effective green advertising strategies.</jats:p>
</jats:sec>
<jats:sec><jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Originality/value</jats:title>
<jats:p>Most of the extant literature has examined environmental claims in the context of developed nations, where regulations are well established. Very few studies have examined this issue in the context of developing countries. In addition, most of the previous studies have focused on specific issues like greenwashing, appeals and execution elements. The present study contributes to green advertising by examining environmental claims in case of a developing nation like India using a comprehensive list of claim categories. This study also identifies areas of concern and suggests recommendations for policymakers and advertisers.</jats:p>
</jats:sec>

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Publisher
CrossRef
ISSN
1747-1117
DOI
10.1108/srj-05-2016-0091
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:sec><jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Purpose</jats:title> <jats:p>Environmental claims in advertising (green ads) provide competitive advantage to firms. This study aims to understand what kinds of environmental claims advertisers make in a developing nation like India. Further, implications for policymakers and advertisers are discussed.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec><jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Design/methodology/approach</jats:title> <jats:p>A content analysis of 279 green print advertisements was conducted using a comprehensive list of claim categories identified from the advertising literature. These categories included advertiser profile; ad promotions – type, sector, appeal; claim – nature, type, focus, validity, emphasis; executional elements – illustration setting, presenter, format/structure and environmental issue, identified from past studies and practitioner interviews.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec><jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Findings</jats:title> <jats:p>The findings suggest that majority of the advertisers using green ads are manufacturers. Consumer durables, real estate and power sector together constitute one-third of the total green ads. Further, most of the green ads are aimed at influencing consumer behaviour. Though most of the ads contain strong emphasis on environmental attributes, they are ambiguous. A large proportion of claims are credence in nature and lack product identification through environmental certifications. This study also identifies areas of concern including interpretation of the term green, use of multiple certifications, greenwashing and advertisers showing environmental responsiveness through event-based green advertising. Policy recommendations are made based on green advertising regulations governing them across developed and other developing countries.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec><jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Research limitations/implications</jats:title> <jats:p>The content analysis of the green advertisements in this study was limited to newspaper advertisements within the print media. Future studies may use advertisements from different media types, such as the internet ads and television commercials, to examine the effect of media type on the nature of green advertisements. It would also be interesting to examine the role of regulations as a moderator, influencing the claims made in green advertisements.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec><jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Practical implications</jats:title> <jats:p>The findings of this study provide a comprehensive overview of the nature of green advertisements in India. Marketers may use these insights to design effective green advertising strategies.</jats:p> </jats:sec> <jats:sec><jats:title content-type="abstract-subheading">Originality/value</jats:title> <jats:p>Most of the extant literature has examined environmental claims in the context of developed nations, where regulations are well established. Very few studies have examined this issue in the context of developing countries. In addition, most of the previous studies have focused on specific issues like greenwashing, appeals and execution elements. The present study contributes to green advertising by examining environmental claims in case of a developing nation like India using a comprehensive list of claim categories. This study also identifies areas of concern and suggests recommendations for policymakers and advertisers.</jats:p> </jats:sec>

Journal

Social Responsibility JournalCrossRef

Published: Aug 7, 2017

References