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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

The Role of COO in Advertising: A Developed-World Perspective

Published: May 28, 2019


Katharina Zeugner-Roth, IESEG School of Management; Fabian Bartsch, Ieseg School of Management


country-of-origin; advertising; content analysis


Despite its undoubted academic relevance, country-of-origin (COO) research continues to be criticized for its lack of practical relevance. This research looks at the usage of COO by advertisers. First, we develop a set of hypotheses that explore differences with respect to a) COO usage versus non-usage, and b) the number and type of COO cues used. Second, we conduct a content analysis of all ads published in three major magazines in France over the period of one year. Results show that COO is particularly important for domestic products, and those that are hedonic in nature and have a high ethnicity. At the same time, we do not find evidence that COO matters only in these situations, as was highlighted by some scholars in the field. The results of this study contribute to the ongoing discussion on the relevance of the COO cue and serve companies for benchmarking purposes.


We thank Eugénie Vandenhoeke for her help with the data collection.