EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

An Ethical Perspective on Necro-Advertising: The Moderating Effect of Brand Equity

Benjamin Boeuf () and Jessica Darveau ()
Additional contact information
Benjamin Boeuf: IÉSEG School of Management
Jessica Darveau: Université Laval

Journal of Business Ethics, 2019, vol. 155, issue 4, 1077-1099

Abstract: Abstract Necro-advertising refers to the use of deceased celebrities in advertising. This practice offers unique advantages to brands that seek to benefit from positive associations with timeless celebrities at a more affordable cost than celebrity endorsement. Nevertheless, how consumers actually respond to the use of deceased celebrities in advertising remains under-theorized. This research is the first to empirically examine consumers’ ethical judgments about necro-advertising practices. In particular, drawing from the signaling theory, it demonstrates the impact of consumer inferences about the existence of a legal agreement for using deceased celebrities’ images on brand ethicality. The results of two experimental studies show that a low-equity brand is more likely to be perceived as unethical when using necro-advertising since consumers have limited knowledge about these brands. Conversely, our findings confirm how a high level of equity prevents from the aforementioned adverse effects since these brands’ assets send a credible signal about their capability to get approval from a deceased celebrity’s estate for the use of its image. While deepening current knowledge on the perceived ethicality of necro-advertising practices, this research uncovers the moderating effect of equity on consumer inferences about brand ethicality. The results also suggest managerial caveats and guidelines for low-equity brands. In particular, while necro-advertising may have a negative impact on the perceived ethicality of low-equity brands, disclosing a statement about a contractual engagement with the deceased celebrity’s estate can mitigate this negative effect by providing an unequivocal signal that the brand is acting ethically.

Keywords: Brand equity; Celebrity endorsement; Necro-advertising; Consumer perceived ethicality (CPE); Signaling theory (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10551-017-3490-x Abstract (text/html)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:155:y:2019:i:4:d:10.1007_s10551-017-3490-x

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.springer. ... cs/journal/10551/PS2

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of Business Ethics is currently edited by Michelle Greenwood and R. Edward Freeman

More articles in Journal of Business Ethics from Springer
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla ().

 
Page updated 2019-11-06
Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:155:y:2019:i:4:d:10.1007_s10551-017-3490-x