Media Message and Public Sensitivity: A Study on the Conditional Nature of Public Responses towards Controversial Advertisements in India

The advertising boom has opened multiple ways to ensure a favourable public image of a product intended to be sold off in a competitive market today. But not all of them make up to their full efficiency and life cycle before a controversy comes up. The conditional nature of the public response is often very subjective, as they are shaped by many factors including individual value systems and attitudes. We analysed multiple advertisements that had become controversial in India due to their seemingly ‘uncustomary’ content. In the study, the efficiency of such advertisements is measured against qualitative variables of communication outcomes through the Reasoned Action Approach. The result defines the factors that influence and trigger a particular response at the public and individual level towards a persuasive media message, which in this case is, the content of controversial advertisements.

Download Pdf