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EMAC 2023 Annual

Incredibility as Driver of Reactance towards Influencer Advertising in Social Media and Negative Consumer Responses

Published: May 24, 2023


Davina Weintz, Saarland University; Bastian Popp, Saarland University


Credibility in social media has frequently been studied in academic literature and shown to be an important aspect of successful influencer advertising. While a lack of credibility is regularly addressed, for example, if influencer and products do not fit to each other, a detailed look at incredibility as the antipode of credibility is still missing. To close this gap, we study characteristics of incredibility from a customer perspective and identify potential consequences. Based on previous literature, a structural equation model is empirically tested. The results show that the presence of incredibility is a crucial driver of consumer reactance and therefore leads to a significantly higher level of ad avoidance, ad scepticism and boycott recommendation while the purchase intention is significantly lowered. Influencers, brands, and retailers therefore are advised to identify factors which lead to incredibility to find appropriate measures to avoid it.