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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Message framing in corporate green marketing communications: Effects on company trustworthiness and consumers’ responses

Published: May 27, 2020


Giovanni Pino, University of Chieti-Pescara; Alessandro Peluso, University of Salento; Giampaolo Viglia, University of Portsmouth


Green marketing; Message framing; Perceived trustworthiness


Message framing is a promising area of inquiry in corporate green marketing communications as it may help companies effectively communicate their commitment to environmental problems. However, we still do not know whether consumers react more favorably to either positively framed messages, i.e., messages that emphasize the positive consequences that may derive from a company’s pro-environmental actions, or negatively framed messages, i.e., messages that emphasize the negative consequences that those actions permit to avoid or that would persist (or even worsen) if the company would not implement them. Across two online studies and one field study, the present research demonstrates that negatively framed messages are better able to increase a company’s perceived trustworthiness and trigger favorable intentional and behavioral responses. Such a greater effectiveness manifests especially for receivers with a higher (vs. lower) environmental concern.