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Responses to CSR Appeals in Non-Prescription Drug Ads: Evidence from Brazil and the United States

Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance

ISBN: 978-1-78714-412-5, eISBN: 978-1-78714-411-8

Publication date: 24 June 2017


This investigation set out to uncover whether CSR appeals – socially and/or environmentally oriented efforts promoted as part of a corporation’s advertising campaign – present a fruitful strategy for pharmaceutical manufacturers. This study investigates whether consumers in the two countries are similar with regards to (1) attitudes toward CSR engagement (2) perception of the social engagement of a company (3) perceived product/cause fit and (4) evaluation of CSR versus non-CSR appeals in OTC pharma ads. A field study was conducted (483 subjects; non-student sample) to explore how a standardized promotional message with or without a CSR appeal is perceived in a cross-cultural setting. Results indicate that consumers’ response (with regard to attitudes toward CSR, perceived social engagement by a company, perceived product-cause fit, as well as ad evaluation) all varied by country. Consumer responses were only tested with regard to a fictitious product as well as for one product category. Overall results suggest that CSR messages resonated more with some consumers than with others and, thus, may need to be tailored by market. Apart from a very small number of investigations, neither consumer evaluations of over-the-counter (OTC) drug ads in general, nor responses to CSR ad appeals in particular, have been explored. Thus, this investigation’s primary goal is to explore responses toward CSR messages in non-prescription drug ads in the United States and Brazil.



Koinig, I., Diehl, S. and Mueller, B. (2017), "Responses to CSR Appeals in Non-Prescription Drug Ads: Evidence from Brazil and the United States", Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Governance (Developments in Corporate Governance and Responsibility, Vol. 11), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 133-155.



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