Shades of Green: A Multidimensional Analysis of Environmental Advertising

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Environmental appeals are becoming increasingly common in advertising, but all green ads are not created equal. The authors report the results of a content analysis designed to uncover the underlying structure of green advertising. A convenience sample of 95 green TV ads and 173 green print ads were content-analyzed. Multidimensional analysis indicates that the structure of green advertising can be captured in three dimensions: sponsor type (for-profit or nonprofit), ad focus (whether the ad focuses on the advertiser or the consumer), and depth of ad (shallow, moderate, or deep depending on the extent of environmental information mentioned). A majority of advertisers in the sample attempted to project a green corporate image rather than focusing on the environmental benefits of their product or service.