Publicity as Covert Marketing? The Role of Persuasion Knowledge and Ethical Perceptions on Beliefs and Credibility in a Video News Release Story

Michelle R. Nelson, Jiwoo Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Publicity may be considered “covert marketing” when the audience believes the message was created by an independent source (journalist) rather than the product marketer. We focus on one form of publicity—video news releases (VNRs)—which are packaged video segments created and provided for free by a third party to the news organization. VNRs are usually shown without source disclosure. In study one, viewers’ beliefs about and perceptions of credibility in a news story (that is actually a VNR) are altered when they acquire persuasion knowledge about VNRs and learn that the source of the story was an unedited VNR. Study two results show similar patterns despite the fact that source disclosure of the story was provided on screen. Importantly, the perceived ethics of VNRs impact perceptions of credibility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-341
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Volume130
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 6 2015

Keywords

  • Covert marketing
  • Credibility
  • Media literacy
  • Persuasion knowledge
  • Public relations
  • Publicity
  • Video news releases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Law

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