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Annual Conference 2019

March 28–31, 2019

Marriott City Center, Dallas, TX

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5.2d The Effects of Sponsorship Disclosure in eWOM and Underlying Mechanism

Saturday, March 30, 2019 at 11:00 AM–12:30 PM CDT
2-Normandy B

Addressing the emerging problem of sponsored eWOM on social media and a lack of clear standard in sponsorship disclosure, this study examined: (1) the effects of different disclosure modes on consumers’ attention to disclosure and perceived persuasive intent of sponsored eWOM, and (2) the effects of the level of detail and extent of disclosed commercial gain on attitudes toward the eWOM content creator and the brand. Two separate experiments were conducted with fictitious video product reviews. Study 1 found that the spoken-only and written-and-spoken disclosure modes generated incrementally higher attention to the sponsorship disclosure than did the written-only mode. However, perceived persuasive intent was not affected by disclosure mode. Results of Study 2 indicate that higher detail in disclosure led to more favorable attitude toward the reviewer for experience goods, but not for search goods. The extent of commercial gain disclosed had some significant impact on attitudinal outcomes: While sponsorship disclosure generally had negative impact on attitude toward the brand, disclosing the receipt of a free product showed statistically equal attitude toward the brand as the condition with no sponsorship disclosure. Persuasion knowledge emerged as the mediator facilitating the effect of the extent of disclosed commercial gain on attitudinal outcomes.

First & Corresponding Author

Alexander Pfeuffer, University of Georgia
Authors in the order to be printed.

Alexander Pfeuffer, University of Georgia; Jisu Huh, University of Minnesota

Additional Authors

Jisu Huh, University of Minnesota