If You Blog, Will They Follow? Using Online Media to Set the Agenda for Consumer Concerns on “Greenwashed” Environmental Claims
Agenda-setting theory is used to investigate if consumers’ online opinions on “greenwashed” advertisements (misleading green advertisements) are influenced by the agenda set by online newspaper articles and environmental nongovernmental organization (NGO) blogs. Leximancer is initially used to obtain attributes and identify themes from four different online stakeholder discussions on greenwashing. Content analysis and cross-lagged correlations are further used to verify if blogs and news articles set the substantive attribute salience in the consumer discussions over a 12-month period (January–December 2009). We found two significant themes in the various stakeholder discussions on greenwashing: marketing communication credibility and impact on natural environment. Results also indicate a bidirectional agenda-setting relationship between consumers and other stakeholders from the same country.
Angeline Gautami Fernando and L. Suganthi
Anna University, Chennai, India
Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, India