DOI: 10.5176/2251-2098_EMG16.8

Authors: Johannes Nolting and Amos Owen

Abstract: The extant literature on deceptive marketing, trust in marketing and consumer cynicism would suggest some disjunction in evaluation of corporate claims to honesty. They may support honesty marketing as an authentic approach nurturing trust and consumer-brand relationships. Yet they might doubt its authenticity, maintaining a cynical stance towards marketing in general. Embedded in the Swedish consumer sphere, this qualitative study finds confirmations for both positive and negative standpoints. More significantly it reveals two conditional aspects in consumer evaluation of honesty marketing: the burden of proof and corporate ethical stance. Thus the authors conclude that any explicit claim to honesty needs to handled with caution to note create greater cynicism.

Keywords: Honesty marketing, deceptive marketing, consumer cynicism, authenticity

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