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Academic research indicates that critical publicity can have a detrimental effect on brand attitudes. The negative effects have been showed to be buffered by cognitive bias elicited by strong favourable attitudes, commitment, brand certainty and brand identification. It has been proposed that the influence of such bias in a news reporting context should be studied, something that also is interesting from a brand perspective. The study therefore investigated whether a well-publicised scandal in one period can lead to increased critical publicity in the coming periods. A case study of Swedish grocery chain ICA was conducted. The year after a large mass media scandal there was significantly more critical publicity than before, all of which could not be explained by differing circumstances. The results imply that critical publicity may have influenced editorial news story screening or lowered criterions for publishing critical news stories. It is proposed that this result can be an indication of either a wave model or a spiral model of critical publicity.

Författare

Christian Scharf

Lärosäte och institution

Handelshögskolan i Stockholm/Institutionen för marknadsföring och strategi

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