Debunking fake ad claims: The moderating role of gender


Debunking fake ad claims: The moderating role of gender

Somak Banerjee, Joseph F. Rocereto, Hyokjin Kwak, and Arpita Pandey

Journal Articles | International Journal of Advertising

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Countering ads with fake claims represent a significant challenge for marketers and policymakers. We show how gender can help better target debunking efforts toward fake ads. First, we find that females (vs. males) show higher sensitivity to debunking efforts toward fake ads, leading to less favorable attitudes toward the brand and, consequently, lower purchase intentions. We then further probe these effects by introducing processing variables from the tenets of perceived risk (perceived health risk) and information processing confidence (skepticism toward the ad). We find that debunking information induces higher levels of skepticism among females owing to their lower information processing confidence than males, leading to downstream effects of higher perceptions of health risk, less favorable attitudes toward the brand, and lower purchase intentions among females than males. Our findings provide implications for advertisers and policymakers to battle the ongoing proliferation of fake ads.