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Unveiling ethical product features: The importance of an elaborated information presentation

Osburg, Victoria-Sophie; Strack, Micha; Conroy, Denise M.; Toporowski, Waldemar


Victoria-Sophie Osburg

Micha Strack

Denise M. Conroy

Waldemar Toporowski


© 2017 Elsevier Ltd Despite growing consumer awareness of ethical consumption, market sales are not growing accordingly. Because the presentation of appropriate ethical product information may influence consumers to choose ethical products, this paper analyses the requirements necessary for the successful communication of ethical product features. Based on McGuire's (1976) information-processing model, and a review of current literature, the information's comprehensibility, meaningfulness, and credibility are investigated in an online survey of US American citizens (n = 595) for two product categories representing Fast Moving Consumer Goods, and durable goods. A generalized mixed logit model revealed that all three communication factors affect consumers' choices. The more concerns about, or expertise in, organic production and fair trade purchase the consumers expressed, the less important their price sensibility and the more they preferred a comprehensive addendum and credible sources (e.g., government certificate or traceability). The results strongly suggest that advertisers and marketers can customize product communications in order to better engage both the mass market, and ethically oriented consumers.


Osburg, V., Strack, M., Conroy, D. M., & Toporowski, W. (2017). Unveiling ethical product features: The importance of an elaborated information presentation. Journal of cleaner production, 162, 1582-1591.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 13, 2017
Online Publication Date Jun 14, 2017
Publication Date Sep 20, 2017
Deposit Date Jun 13, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jun 15, 2018
Journal Journal of cleaner production
Print ISSN 0959-6526
Electronic ISSN 1879-1786
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 162
Pages 1582-1591
Keywords Ethical consumption, Message framing, Comprehensibility, Meaningfulness, Credibility, Price sensibility
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: Unveiling ethical product features: The importance of an elaborated information presentation; Journal Title: Journal of Cleaner Production; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version:; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


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