Presentation Title

Is Environmental Concern in Advertising Related to the State of the Economy? An Exploratory Study from the Wall Street Journal 2007-2011

Document Type


Presentation Date


Abstract or Description

This study is an attempt to determine the relationship between the prevalence of environmental cues in advertisements and the state of the U.S. economy. Advertisements sampled from the Wall Street Journal, a preeminent daily business news publication in the United States, were examined during the years 2007, 2009, and 2011 to determine this relationship. While few direct environmental appeals were found within the sample of advertisements, a variety of indirect environmental cues were utilized for analysis. The results show that there is a quadratic relationship between advertisers’ use of indirect environmental cues and the state of the economy, such that the presence of these cues drops in frequency during the year 2009 and begins to return to pre-recession levels in 2011. What this suggests is that the presence of these cues declined as the Great Recession worsened and then began to increase as the economy began to recover. Potential interpretations are offered.


Association of Marketing Theory and Practice Annual Conference (AMTP)


Hilton Head, SC