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Online advertising effectiveness: a cross‐cultural comparison

Malte Brettel (RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany)
Andrea Spilker‐Attig (RWTH Aachen University, Aachen, Germany)

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing

ISSN: 2040-7122

Article publication date: 20 August 2010



The internet has gained enormous importance as an advertising medium. At the same time, the question of marketing accountability has become one of the top areas of research for researchers and practitioners who aim at optimal marketing budget allocations. This paper aims to show that national culture has an impact on how consumer behavior is influenced by online advertising.


The paper compares the effectiveness of internet advertising in the USA and France by analyzing a real data sample with more than 1.2 million transactions using partial least squares and structural equation modeling.


It is found that on‐demand channels have a stronger effect on short‐term success than push‐channels and that this effect is strongly moderated by the culture. It is recommended that spending and efforts in the various advertising channels be adjusted to reflect the product offered and the customers to whom it is offered, as customers in both countries should be targeted by advertising in different ways. The channel effectiveness of affiliate price comparison sites and search engines has significantly different impacts on customer behavior in the USA and France.


Until now, most companies have utilized a suboptimal allocation of resources to advertising channels because of missing and misleading data. Focusing on this problem, the paper suggests that advertisers apply the methodology to identify the total effect of clicks in each advertising channel. Combining these total effects with the associated costs allows practitioners to optimize their online advertising spending.



Brettel, M. and Spilker‐Attig, A. (2010), "Online advertising effectiveness: a cross‐cultural comparison", Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 176-196.



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