Abstract: Facing the rising trend of sponsored product reviews posted on social media, government regulatory agencies have published industry guidelines requiring disclosure of sponsorship in social media product reviews. However, research about the effects of online product review sponsorship disclosures, especially in the social media context, is still limited. To address this problem, the current study tested the effects of sponsorship disclosure in YouTube product reviews on consumers’ persuasion knowledge and attitudinal responses to the product, brand, and the reviewer. Persuasion Knowledge Model and expectancy violations theory were applied to form the theoretical foundation for the study hypotheses. Results from an online experiment revealed: (1) sponsorship disclosure increased consumers’ perceived persuasive intent and appropriateness of a sponsored product review but not their perceived effectiveness of the content; (2) sponsorship disclosure had no significant effect on viewers’ attitudes toward the reviewed product, brand, or the reviewer; and (3) viewers’ expectancy moderated the effects of sponsorship disclosure on persuasion knowledge. Implications of the study findings and limitations and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Abstract: In an effort to improve transparency, Facebook changed its disclosures on in-feed native political advertisements in 2018 to include language that identifies who paid for the ad to appear. The present study (N = 120) utilized a between-participants eye-tracking experiment to assess the impact of three different disclosure conditions on Facebook users’ visual attention to the disclosure, recall of the disclosure, and the ability to identify the sponsor of the advertisement. Findings suggest that while users do give visual attention to Facebook’s new political ad disclosure, the disclosure language is not effective at enhancing users’ comprehension of who paid the political advertisements.
Abstract: This study examined exposure to three types of e-cigarette marketing—sponsored advertisements, brand pages, and user-created groups—on social networking sites and their influence on health-related outcomes. Results (N = 1,016) indicated that e-cigarette users who joined user-created groups had significantly more negative attitudes toward quitting and lower behavioral control, intention to quit, and self-efficacy than those who were exposed to sponsored advertisements or who followed brand pages. Exposure to two or more types of marketing had an additive effect on health-related outcomes. Social identification, attention to social comparison, and subjective norms also moderated between exposure to e-cigarette marketing and key dependent measures.