Guilt or shame-inducing responsible drinking ads backfire

Agrawal N., Duhachek A. ‘Emotional compatibility and the effectiveness of anti-drinking messages: a defensive processing perspective on shame and guilt.‘ Journal of Marketing Research: 2010, 47(2), p. 263–273.

US students already burdened by these emotions reacted to shame or guilt-inducing anti-drink ads by intending to and actually drinking more, the opposite of what was intended. This intriguing series of studies may reinforce the feeling that the ways anti-substance use ads can backfire are so various, the safest option is not to try them.

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