Creating the Customer: The Influence of Advertising on Consumer Market Segments - Evidence and Ethics

Agnes Nairn*, Pierre Berthon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article (Academic Journal)peer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

For over half a century market segments have been considered objective groupings of individuals which marketers identify, understand, and target with advertising messages. The process of market segmentation has, therefore, occupied a position of moral neutrality. An increasingly popular method of segmentation is by consumer personality, with advertisers targeting messages to specific personality types. This paper explores personality segmentation, and presents empirical evidence to support the proposition that personality metrics that are used to assign individuals to segments may, in fact, be manipulable by advertising executions themselves. Quite apart from the implications that this has for the business efficacy of the segmentation process, the ethical implications particularly as applied to children - are considerable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-99
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2003

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