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.
Abstract: Electronic cigarette brands are increasingly using social media to advertise their products. This study examined effects of advertising message claim type (reduced risk [“Healthier than regular cigarettes”], cessation [“Quit smoking using e-cigarettes”] versus no message claim) and health warning labels (presence versus absence) in celebrity-endorsed Instagram e-cigarette brand advertisements. A 3×2 between-subjects experiment was conducted through an online questionnaire, with participants (N = 275) randomly assigned to 1 of 6 experimental conditions. Presence of a health warning label exerted significant main effects on attitude towards the ad, intention to use e-cigarettes, and brand attitude, and interacted with message claim type to affect these dependent measures. Health consciousness, perceived information value and celebrity identification also significantly moderated between presence of a health warning label and attitude towards the ad, intention to use e-cigarettes and brand attitude. Presence of health warning labels in social media-based e-cigarette ads may therefore mitigate potential effects of positive advertising claims in these ads. Implications for regulatory agencies and future research are discussed.