Disclosure-Driven Recognition of Native Advertising: A Test of Two Competing Mechanisms

Eline Brussee, Eva Van Reijmersdal, Nathaniel Evans, and Bart Wojdynski (forthcoming), “Disclosure-Driven Recognition of Native Advertising: A Test of Two Competing Mechanisms,” Journal of Interactive Advertising

Abstract: This study aims to contribute to the literature by examining how two opposite-valanced mechanisms (activation of conceptual persuasion knowledge and perceived transparency of the native advertising) explain positive and negative effects of sponsorship disclosures on brand responses (i.e., brand attitude and purchase intentions) and by examining the role of message source. An experiment (N = 133) showed that disclosures of native advertising decreased persuasion via activated persuasion knowledge: Readers who understood that a blog post was a form of advertising due to a disclosure, showed more attitudinal persuasion knowledge, which in turn led to less positive brand attitudes and lower purchase intention. However, the disclosure also enhanced persuasion via perceptions of transparency of the blog post: due to the disclosure, the blog post was perceived as more transparent, which resulted in less attitudinal persuasion knowledge and in more positive attitudes toward the brand and higher purchase intentions. Source did not moderate these mediation effects. By incorporating two competing mechanisms this study offers important new insights into the theoretical mechanisms that explain advertising disclosure effects.