Ethical labels signal positive ethical quality of a product but fail to create massive demand for such products. Based on regulatory focus theory and prospect theory, it is argued that negative signalling of low ethical quality would have a stronger effect on the adoption of ethical products than the current positive signalling of high ethical quality. The effect of positive versus negative signalling of high versus low ethical quality on attitude and preference formation is tested in three experimental studies (N=81; N=170; N=177). Results show (1) that negative labelling has more effect on attitude and preference than positive labelling, (2) that the effect of labelling is enhanced by regulatory fit, and (3) that the effect of labelling is mediated by personal norms. No evidence of either mediation or moderation by environmental concern was found.
|Journal||Journal of Consumer Policy|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
- Negative labelling
- Personal norms
- Regulatory fit