Religion and Perceptions of the Regulation of Controversial Advertising

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal of International Consumer Marketing, 2018, 30 (1), pp. 29 - 44
Issue Date:
2018-01-01
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© 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. The objectives of this study are (a) to examine the impact of religion on consumers' perceptions of controversial advertising, on their perceptions of the protective and restrictive social effects of controversial advertising regulations, and on their perceptions of the restrictiveness of the regulations; and (b) to determine the moderating effect of religion on the influence of independent variables (consumers' perceptions of controversial advertising, and of the protective and restrictive social effects of regulations on controversial advertising) on a dependent variable (consumers' perceptions of regulations governing controversial advertising). According to cross-sectional survey data collected from 1,402 university students in 11 countries throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, Islamic followers were most easily offended by controversial advertising and generally found the current regulations not strict enough to address their sensitivities; Christians' and Hindus' found the regulations to fit with their more liberal attitudes toward controversial advertising, while Buddhists/Taoists and nonbelievers perceived the current regulations to be overly strict. These findings suggest that regulatory bodies should institute regulations consistent with the sensibilities of the religious profile of the population in the locale in which they operate.
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