Advertising Principles - Evidence-based principles

Do mandatory disclaimers improve outcomes?

We are putting the final touches to a paper that examines experimental evidence on the effectiveness of mandatory disclaimers (i.e., messages governments require be added to advertisements). To date, we have found 17 relevant experimental studies by others and have conducted our own experiment. Government mandated messages increased confusion among consumers in all 17 experiments. Of the 14 studies that also examined perceptions, attitudes, or decisions that were the target of a mandated message, all mandated messages were ineffective or harmful in their effects. We are interested to know of experimental evidence that we might have overlooked, especially findings that conflict with our findings to date. If you know of any relevant evidence, published or unpublished, please let us know prior to March 1 so that we can meet our publisher’s deadline.



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