Cause-Related Marketing and Trust: Empirical Evidence on Pinkwashing

Author/s Patrizia de Luca, Gabriella Schoier, Alice Vessio
Publishing Year 2017 Issue 2017/2
Language English Pages 23 P. 51-73 File size 485 KB
DOI 10.3280/MC2017-002004
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

Over the past several years, cause-related marketing (CRM) has become an important tool that many companies use to differentiate themselves from competitors. However, this type of marketing has also received criticism. Consumers are becoming increasingly skeptical about the authenticity of these initiatives because some companies attempt to improve their image by hiding information that may be perceived as negative. Marketing literature has paid more attention to environmental CRM than to initiatives associated with other issues such as health and those related to women’s health. However, in recent years, a growing number of companies have implemented actions to support these concerns. This paper aims to contribute to this field by focusing on CRM initiatives to fund breast-cancer research and on their misrepresentations. Combining qualitative and quantitative methods via a semistructured questionnaire, this study confirms the influence of pinkwashing on consumer trust, consumer-perceived risk, and consumer confusion.

Keywords: Cause-related marketing, pinkwashing, trust, perceived risk, consumer confusion, quantitative analysis

  1. Naseri H. (2013). Consumers Response to Cause-Related Marketing (A Case Study among Cus- tomers of Iranian Chain Stores. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 5(6): 498-508.
  2. Nielsen Global Research (2014). In: -- (May, 20th, 2016).
  3. Pegan G., de Luca P. (2012). Can implicit and explicit attitudes predict green product choice under time pressure? An experimental research. Journal of Management and World Business Research, 9(1): 21-36.
  4. Pomering A. and Johnson L.V. (2009). Advertising corporate social responsibility initiatives to communicate corporate image: Inhibiting skepticism to enhance persuasion. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 14(4): 420-439, DOI: 10.1108/13563280910998763.
  5. Ramus C.A. and Montiel I. (2005). When are corporate environmental policies a form of greenwashing?. Business and Society, 44(4): 377-414, DOI: 10.1177/0007650305278120.
  6. Rao S.S., Truong D., Senecal S., Le T.T. (2007). How buyers’ expected benefits, perceived risks, and e-business readiness influence their e-marketplace usage. Industrial Marketing Management, 36(8): 1035-1045,
  7. Rozensher S. (2013). The Growth of Cause Marketing: Past, Current, and Future Trends. Journal of Business & Economics Research, 11(4): 181-186,
  8. Rousseau D.M., Sitkin S.B., Burt R.S., Camerer C. (1998). Not so different after all: A cross-discipline view of trust. Academy of Management Review, 23(3): 393-404,
  9. Self R.M., Self D.R., Bell-Haynes J. (2010). Marketing tourism in the Galapagos Islands: Ecotourism or greenwashing? International Business & Economics Research Journal, 9(6): 111-125,
  10. Silverstein M.J. and Sayre K. (2009). The female economy. Harvard Business Review, in -- (June, 1st, 2016).
  11. Singh J., Sirdeshmukh D. (2000). Agency and trust mechanisms in consumer satisfaction and loyalty judgements. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 28(1): 150-167, DOI: 10.1177/0092070300281014
  12. Sulik G.A. (2011). Pink Ribbon Blues: How Breast Cancer Culture Undermines Womens’s Health. New York: Oxford Unversity Press.
  13. Tullis T., Albert B. (2013). Measuring the user experience. Amsterdam: Elsevier,
  14. Turnbull P. W., Leek S., Ying G. (2000). Customer confusion: The mobile phone market. Journal of Marketing Management, 16(1-3): 143-163, DOI: 10.1362/026725700785100523.
  15. Vanhamme J., Lindgreen A., Reast J., and Popering N. van (2012). To do well by doing good: improving corporate image through cause-related marketing. Journal of Business Ethics, 109(3): 259-274,
  16. Varadarajan R.P., Menon A. (1988). Cause related Marketing: a coalignment of Marketing strategy and corporate philantrophy. Journal of Marketing, 52(3): 58-74, DOI: 10.2307/1251450
  17. Vessio A. (2015). Cause-Related Marketing ed etica della comunicazione. Una ricerca sugli effetti del pinkwashing sul consumatore. Tesi di laurea magistrale – Università di Trieste (Rel. De Luca P., Corr. Schoier G.). In: -- (February, 20th, 2016).
  18. Walsh G., Hennig-Thurau T., Mitchell V.W. (2007). Consumer confusion proneness: Scale development, validation, and application. Journal of Marketing Management, 23(7): 697-721,
  19. Walsh G., Mitchell V.W. (2010). The effect of consumer confusion proneness on word of mouth, trust, and customer satisfaction. European Journal of Marketing, 44(6): 838-859, DOI: 10.1108/03090561011032739
  20. Warrington T., Abgrab N., Caldwell H. (2000). Building trust to develop competitive advantage in e-business relationships. Competitiveness Review, 10(2): 160-168,
  21. Zani S. and Cerioli A. (2007). Analisi dei dati e data mining per le decisioni aziendali. Milano: Giuffrè.
  22. Anderson B.O. (2014). Breast Cancer – Thinking Globally. Science, 343(6178): 1403, in -- (May, 18th, 2016),
  23. Andreasen A.R. (1996). Profits for non-profits: find a corporate partner. Harvard Business Review, 74(6): 47-59.
  24. Bigne-Alcaniz E., Curras-Perez R., Sanchez G. (2010). Brand credibility in cause-related marketing: the moderating role of consumer values. Journal of Product &Brand Management, 18(6): 437-447, DOI: 10.1108/10610420910989758.
  25. Brenner B.A. (2009). Re: The Power of Pink: Cause-Related Marketing and the Impact on Breast Cancer. Journal of the American College of Radiology, 6(3): 2015.
  26. Broderick A., Jogi A., Garry T. (2003). Tickled Pink: The Personal Meaning of Cause Related Marketing for Customers. Journal of Marketing Management, 19(5-6): 583-610, DOI: 10.1362/026725703322189968
  27. Chamorro A., Rubio S., Miranda F.J. (2009). Characteristics of Research on Green Marketing. Business Strategy and the Environment, 18: 223-239,
  28. Chaney I., Dolli N. (2001). Cause related marketing in New Zealand, International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector. Marketing, 6(2): 156-163,
  29. Chang H.H., Chen S.W. (2008). The impact of online store environment cues on purchase intention: Trust and perceived risk as a mediator. Online Information Review, 32(6): 818-841, DOI: 10.1108/14684520810923953
  30. Chaudhuri A. (1997). Consumption emotion and perceived risk: A macro-analytic approach. Journal of Business Research, 39(2): 81-92, DOI: 10.1016/S0148-2963(96)00144-0.
  31. Chen Y-S. (2010). The drivers of green brand equity: Green brand image, green satisfaction, and green trust. Journal of Business Ethics, 93(2): 307-319,
  32. Chen Y., Chang C. (2013). Greenwash and Green Trust: The Mediation Effects of green Consumer Confusion and Green Perceived Risk. Journal of Business Ethics, 114(3): 489-500,
  33. Cherry M.A. and Sneirson J.F. (1999). Beyond profit: Rethinking corporate social responsibility and greenwashing after the BP oil disaster. TulaneLaw Review, 85(4): 983-1038,
  34. Cone Communications (2010). Cause evolution study. In -- (June, 6th, 2016).
  35. Dailey W. (2012). Consumers Question Intent and Impact of Breast Cancer Cause Marketing New research shows Americans increasingly skeptical. Boston: Cone Communication.
  36. de Luca P., Shoier G. and Vessio A. (2015). Cause Related Marketing, pinkwashing e confusione del consumatore: prime evidenze empiriche. XII Convegno annuale della Società Italiana Marketing Torino, 22 e 23 ottobre.
  37. de Luca P., Aramendia Muneta E. (2009). Analysis of Consumer Confusion in the Mobile Phone Market. Exploratory Research in Italy and Spain. In: Andreani J.-C. and Collesei U. (eds). Proceedings of 8th International Conference Marketing Trends, pp. 1-23, Paris-Venice: Marketing Trends Association, Parigi, January 15-17.
  38. Eikenberry A.M. (2009). The hidden cost of cause marketing. Stanford Social Innovation Review (Summer), 51-55.
  39. Engel J.F., Blackwell R. D., Miniard P. W. (1986). Consumer behavior. Chicago: The Dryden Press.
  40. Fondazione Veronesi (2014). In: -- file/24291/382/ (June, 1st 2016).
  41. Foxman E.R., Muehling D.D., Berger P.W. (1990). An investigation of factors contributing to consumer brand confusion. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 24(1): 170-189,
  42. Galan-Ladero M.M., Galera-Casquet C., Valero-Amaro V., Barroso-Mendez M.J. (2013). Sustainable, socially responsible business: the cause-related marketing case. A review of the conceptual framework. Journal of Security and Sustainability Issues, 2(4): 35-46, doi 10.9770/jssi.2013.2.4(4).
  43. Galan-Ladero M.M., Galera Casquet C., Singh J. (2015). Understanding factors influencing consumer attitudes toward cause-related marketing. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, 20: 52-70,
  44. Ganesan S. (1994). Determinants of long-term orientation in buyer seller relationships. Journal of Marketing, 58: 1-19, DOI: 10.2307/1252265
  45. Gillespie E. (2008). Stemming the tide of greenwash. Consumer Policy Review, 18(3): 79-83.
  46. Hair J.F. Jr., Anderson R.E., Tatham R.L., and Black W.C. (1998). Multivariate Data Analysis, (5th Edition). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  47. Harridge-March S. (2006). Can the building of trust overcome consumer perceived risk online?. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 24(7): 746-761.
  48. Hart P., Saunders C. (1997). Power and trust: Critical factors in the adoption and use of electronic data interchange. Organizational Science, 8 (1): 23-42,
  49. Harvey J.A., Strahilevitz M.A. (2009). The Power of Pink: Cause-Related Marketing and the Impact on Breast Cancer. Journal of the American College of Radiology, 6 (1): 26-32,
  50. Horiuchi R. and Schuchard R. (2009). Understanding and preventing greenwash: A business guide. London: Futerra Sustainability Communications.
  51. IEG Sponsorship Report (2014). In: --
  52. Kalafatis S.P., Pollard M. (1999). Green marketing and Ajzen’s theory of planned behaviour: A cross-market examination. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 16(5): 441-460, DOI: 10.1108/07363769910289550
  53. King S. (2006). Pink Ribbons, Inc.Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
  54. Koehn D. (2003). The nature of and conditions for online trust. Journal of Business Ethics, 43: 3-19, DOI: 10.1023/A:1022950813386
  55. Leek S., Chansawatkit S. (2006). Consumer confusion in the Thai mobile phone market. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 5(6): 518-532,
  56. Lyon T.P., Maxwell J.W. (2011). Greenwash: Corporate environmental disclosure under threat of audit. Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, 20 (1): 3-41,
  57. Mart S. and Giesbrecht N. (2015). Red flags on pinkwashed drinks: contradictions and dangers in marketing alcohol to prevent cancer. Addiction, 110: 1541-1548,
  58. Matzler K., Stieger D., Fuller J. (2011). Consumer confusion in internet-based mass customization: Testing a network of antecedents and consequences. Journal of Consumer Policy, 231-247,
  59. Mitchell V.W. (1999). Consumer perceived risk: Conceptualizations and models. European Journal of Marketing, 33(1): 163-195, DOI: 10.1108/03090569910249229
  60. Mitchell V.W., Walsh G., Yamin M. (2005). Towards a conceptual model of consumer confusion. In: Menon G., Rao A.R. (eds). Advances in Consumer Research, Association for Consumer Research, Minneapolis, pp. 143-150.
  61. Mitchell V.W., Papavassiliou V. (1999). Marketing causes and implications of consumer confusion. Journal of Product and Band Management, 8(4): 319-339. DOI: 10.1108/10610429910284300
  62. Morgan R.M., Hunt S.D. (1994). The commitment-trust theory of relationship marketing. Journal of Marketing, 58(3): 20-38.

  • Holding Up a Democratic Facade: How ‘New Work Organizations’ Avoid Resistance and Litigation When Dismissing Their Managers Johanna L. Degen, Massih Zekavat, in Frontiers in Psychology 789404/2022
    DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.789404

Patrizia de Luca, Gabriella Schoier, Alice Vessio, Cause-Related Marketing and Trust: Empirical Evidence on Pinkwashing in "MERCATI & COMPETITIVITÀ" 2/2017, pp 51-73, DOI: 10.3280/MC2017-002004