The Effectiveness of Publicity versus Advertising: A Meta-Analysis

  • Martin Eisend
  • Franziska Küster


Many organizations have placed increasingly importance on marketing-oriented publicity compared to advertising (Ries and Ries 2002; Shimp 2007). The main distinction between advertising and publicity is found in their definitions. Advertising is paid communication that identifies the message sponsor. Publicity secures editorial space in media (i.e., space that is not paid for) for promotion purposes (Kotler and Keller 2006) and does not identify a sponsor. Despite the widespread belief among practitioners that publicity outperforms advertising (e.g., Hausman 2003; Pohl 2008), previous study results are far from consistent: some studies find no differences between the impact of publicity and advertising (e.g., Hallahan 1999a; Hallahan 1999b; Jo 2004; Schmidt and Hitchon 1999), and some studies show that advertising outperforms publicity (e.g., Jacoby and Hoyer 1989; Salmon et al. 1985). The present study shows whether and under what conditions marketing-oriented publicity outperforms advertising in terms of communication effectiveness. For this purpose, we conduct an integrative meta-analysis of research on the effects of marketing-oriented publicity versus advertising that provides generalized results. We explain inconsistent results of previous studies by examining the effects of relevant moderator variables.


Moderator Variable Source Credibility Cognitive Response Advertising Research Message Processing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Gabler Verlag | Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Eisend
    • 1
  • Franziska Küster
    • 2
  1. 1.European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder)Germany
  2. 2.Free University BerlinGermany

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