How Disclosure Source and Content-Publication Fit Impact Consumers’ Recognition and Evaluation of Native E-Cigarette Public Service Announcements

Abstract: Given the increasing amount of public and government related attention devoted to issues surrounding e-cigarette use, the current study examined how disclosure source and content-publication fit in an ENDS (electronic nicotine delivery system) native PSA (public service announcement) affected consumers’ advertising recognition, brand attitude, attitude toward the publisher, eWOM (electronic word of mouth), and attitudes toward e-cigarettes. Study findings indicate that disclosure source had no effect on advertising recognition, which did not mediate the effect of disclosure source on outcomes. However, a disclosure source featuring the brand “Juul” in combination with high content-publication fit significantly and positively impacted advertising recognition, which in turn exerted a significant and positive impact on the indirect effect of a “sponsored content by Juul” disclosure via advertising recognition on all outcomes. These positive indirect effects were further strengthened among participants that self-identified as “ENDS only users” (n = 226) rather than “ENDS and tobacco users.” (n = 194) Study findings provide several theoretical and practical implications.