Companies are increasingly emphasizing corporate social responsibility (CSR). However, consumers are often skeptical of the sincerity of companies’ CSR claims, particularly when the claim comes directly from the company. This research examines how the gender and genderrelated characteristics of a company’s spokesperson can alleviate CSR skepticism. Study 1 finds that consumers are less skeptical of a company’s CSR claim when it is made by a female (vs. male) spokesperson. Study 2 expands on this by finding that female consumers are less skeptical of a company’s CSR efforts when they are promoted by a communal spokesperson. In contrast, male consumers are less skeptical of a company’s CSR efforts when they are promoted by an agentic spokesperson. These findings should guide companies and their brands in choosing ideal spokespeople for making CSR claims, depending on the target market.
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Newman, Kevin P. and Trump, Rebecca K., "The Impact of Gender and Agentic-Communal Orientations on Consumer Skepticism about Corporate Social Responsibility" (2018). Association of Marketing Theory and Practice Proceedings 2018. 24.