The Inoculating Effect of Generic Advertising: Can Consumers' Concerns About Mad Cow Disease Be Reduced by Advertising?

28 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2016 Last revised: 28 Apr 2017

See all articles by Kent D. Messer

Kent D. Messer

University of Delaware - Department of Applied Economics and Statistics

Harry M. Kaiser

Cornell University - School of Applied Economics and Management

Collin R. Payne

Cornell University

Brian Wansink

Retired

Date Written: February 19, 2007

Abstract

Consumers have consistently expressed concern about the risk of being afflicted with new Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (frequently referred to as Mad Cow Disease) by eating beef. Given the recent discover of cows in the United States that tested positive for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) and the recent scientific statement that the path of this lethal disease remains unknown, the beef industry continues to have this potentially devastating food scare problem loom in the future. This research uses experimental economic techniques to demonstrate that risk concerns regarding Mad Cow Disease are easily induced with media information and finds that current beef industry adverting does a surprisingly good job at alleviating consumer food scare concerns.

Keywords: food scares, advertising, mad cow disease, creutzfeldt-jakob disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, consumer behavior, information, health awareness

Suggested Citation

Messer, Kent D. and Kaiser, Harry M. and Payne, Collin R. and Wansink, Brian, The Inoculating Effect of Generic Advertising: Can Consumers' Concerns About Mad Cow Disease Be Reduced by Advertising? (February 19, 2007). Applied Economics, Vol. 43, No. 12, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2711414 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2711414

Kent D. Messer (Contact Author)

University of Delaware - Department of Applied Economics and Statistics ( email )

531 South College Ave
Newark, DE 19716
United States

Harry M. Kaiser

Cornell University - School of Applied Economics and Management ( email )

248 Warren Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-1598 (Phone)
607-254-4335 (Fax)

Collin R. Payne

Cornell University ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Brian Wansink

Retired ( email )

607-319-0123 (Phone)

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