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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Positive and negative consequences of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Appeals: Examining Iceland’s controversial advertising campaign.

Published: May 27, 2020


Judith Fletcher-Brown, University of Portsmouth; Sarah Turnbull, University of Portsmouth; Annamaria Tuan, University of Bologna


Automated text analysis; Brand Activism; Corporate Social Responsibility Appeals


Brands are increasingly concerned with their impact on society. Communicating this social responsibility has led to the emergence of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Appeals. This study explores the positive and negative consequences for brands engaging in CSR appeals. By observing the linguistic style of responses to CSR appeals using an automated text analysis, we examine the negative/positive effect of advertising. The findings provide three main contributions. First, consumers are using more positive than negative emotion in comments. Second, the angry outbursts with offensive language is used in responses. Third, there are three main clusters of comments which differ in their linguistic style. These novel findings provide a greater understanding of how brands are communicating their social responsibility from an advertising perspective.