Clearcut Persuasion? Audience Cognition of Mediated Environmental Advertising through the Lens of the Elaboration Likelihood Model


  • Derek Moscato Western Washington University



environmentalism, activism, advocacy, advertising, controversy, editorial, elaboration likelihood model, audiences


Through the theoretical lens of Petty and Cacioppo’s Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) and using the case of Oregon Wild and its campaign against clear-cut logging on public lands, this study explores the impact of media coverage of contentious activist advertising on audiences. A survey with experimental conditions measures attitudes of audiences exposed to this interplay of advocacy communication. The study assesses partiality toward the sponsor organization, a willingness by the target audience to act on its behalf, and an understanding of the central environmental issue. Differences between gender in reception of the campaign and coverage also are examined. By examining the interplay of social advertising, news media, and audiences, this study highlights a dynamic, social psychological stream of public interest communications.

Author Biography

Derek Moscato, Western Washington University

Assistant Professor, Department of Journalism


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Original Research