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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

Perceived Influencer Authenticity: Antecedents and Consequences

Published: May 25, 2021


Verena Batt, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts; Carolin Nathalie Becker, Copenhagen Business School; Sarah Heitgerken, Copenhagen Business School; Marie-Christin Papen, TU Dresden; Katharina Windler, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts


The purpose of this paper is, firstly, to gain insights on how consumers´ perception of influencer authenticity can be positively affected and, secondly, to examine the mediating role of influencer authenticity. An online experiment with the typical Instagram user (n=296) is conducted, using a 2 x 2 between-subject design. We find that both the existence of verified badges as well as the influencer´s use of two-sided messages drive perceived influencer authenticity. The interaction effect of these two antecedents on perceived influencer authenticity depends on the influencer´s status. While two-sided messages do not affect perceived influencer authenticity when the influencer´s account has a verified badge, they lead to an increase in authenticity perception in the badge´s absence on the influencer´s account. The findings confirm that perceived influencer authenticity fully mediates the relationship between the two antecedents and advertising effectiveness.