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Getting into Your Head(Ache): The Information Content of Advertising in the Over-the-Counter Analgesics Industry

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  • Anderson, Simon
  • Ciliberto, Federico
  • Liaukonyte, Jura

Abstract

We study how much information firms include in their advertisements and what determines their choices. We use data from advertisement videos from the US OTC analgesics industry between 2001 and 2005 to measure information content in ads. For each video we code the number of cues it contains. The correlation between any two cues is rarely large, suggesting that each cue provides different information. We find: i) brands with inherently better characteristics (e.g. faster relief) transmit more information; ii) comparative advertisements contain significantly more information than self-promotion ads; iii) market share is negatively associated with the amount of information content; iv) a higher market share of the generic version of a brand is also associated with less information by the brand. Not controlling for endogeneity of market share and the decision to use comparative advertising would lead to significant estimation bias. Result (iii) is consistent with recent theoretical work that larger firms disclose less information, while result (iv) indicates the likely presence of information spillovers from brands to their generic counterparts.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 24916.

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Date of creation: 10 Aug 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:24916

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Keywords: Information Content; Advertising; Comparative Advertising; Content Analysis;

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References

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  1. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, January.
  2. Anderson, Simon P & Ciliberto, Federico & Liaukonyte, Jura & Renault, Régis, 2012. "Push-Me Pull-You: Comparative Advertising in the OTC Analgesics Industry," CEPR Discussion Papers 8988, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Rivers, Douglas & Vuong, Quang H., 1988. "Limited information estimators and exogeneity tests for simultaneous probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 347-366, November.
  4. Ganesh Iyer & David Soberman & J. Miguel Villas-Boas, 2005. "The Targeting of Advertising," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(3), pages 461-476, May.
  5. Renault, Régis & Anderson, Simon P., 2009. "Comparative advertising: disclosing horizontal match information," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/12478, Paris Dauphine University.
  6. Bharat Anand & Ron Shachar, 2009. "Targeted advertising as a signal," Quantitative Marketing and Economics, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 237-266, September.
  7. Joshua D. Angrist, 2000. "Estimation of Limited-Dependent Variable Models with Dummy Endogenous Regressors: Simple Strategies for Empirical Practice," NBER Technical Working Papers 0248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Smith, Richard J & Blundell, Richard W, 1986. "An Exogeneity Test for a Simultaneous Equation Tobit Model with an Application to Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 679-85, May.
  9. Richard Blundell & James Powell, 2001. "Endogeneity in nonparametric and semiparametric regression models," CeMMAP working papers CWP09/01, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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Cited by:
  1. Winand Emons & Claude Fluet, 2008. "Non-comparative versus Comparative Advertising as a Quality Signal," Diskussionsschriften dp0805, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
  2. Emons, Winand & Fluet, Claude, 2012. "Non-comparative versus comparative advertising of quality," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 352-360.
  3. Maria Alipranti & Emmanuel Petrakis, 2012. "Comparative Advertising in Markets with Network Externalities," Working Papers 1306, University of Crete, Department of Economics, revised 08 May 2013.

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