Message framing, company trustworthiness, and consumer reaction to corporate environmental communications

Giovanni Pino, Giampaolo Viglia, Rajan Nataraajan, Alessandro M. Peluso, Marco Pichierri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Companies may inform consumers about their pro-environmental actions by using either positively or negatively framed messages, which respectively highlight the possible benefits deriving from such actions vs. the drawbacks deriving from inaction. However, it is unclear whether one of these two communication tactics has a superior persuasive power. Three studies demonstrate that negatively framed messages have a positive effect on company trustworthiness, which, in turn, exerts a favorable influence on message receivers’ intentions and behaviors. Such an effect holds only when receivers are concerned about the environment and perceive the company as environmentally harmful. The results highlight the importance of using a negative framing to foster trust in companies’ pro-environmental actions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Advertising Research
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 30 Sep 2021

Keywords

  • message framing
  • corporate communications
  • trustworthiness
  • environmental concern

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