Avoiding Adverts on Social Media

Guest post by Dr. Carlos Ferreira, Centre for Business in Society

This post was first published in Carlos’ personal blog, Constructing the Economic.

I have recently published a paper on the Journal of Customer Behaviour about the reasons why people may avoid adverts on social media. It was co-authored with Caroline Moraes, Nina Michaelidou and Michelle McGrath.

Our research question revolved around what can be termed ‘controversial adverts’: ads which attempt to cut through the noise of social media by shocking viewers. It’s a well-known and widely used tactic and there are plenty of examples out there. Personally, I always remember how shocked I was when I first saw this Plane Stupid ad on YouTube, back in 2009. Brilliantly executed, utterly sickening:

The paper analyses how consumers’ perceptions of adverts as controversial can result in ad avoidance in the specific context of social media. Using a Structured Equation Modelling approach, we show that this is indeed the case, but that the effect is moderated by other dimensions, such as ethical judgement.

Personally, I found this a very interesting project. Thematically and methodologically it feels a bit removed from my area of expertise, but I enjoyed learning about and employing new methodologies (despite previous experience with quantitative methods I’d never used SEM), as well as working with colleagues from various other institutions.

The paper can be found here.

Originally posted on Constructecon.



Coventry University