Information disclosure in marketing

One of the main goals of marketing is to inform consumers. The marketing process should inform customers well enough about the products and show the strength in comparing other same products, so it can help enhance the firm’s products and selling. It is also essential to show the real facts about the products and know the weaknesses.

“Affirmative information disclosures are a class of regulatory actions in which a marketer is required to inform consumers of certain facts about a product or service“ (Wilkie, 1986).

Depending on their goals and preferences, consumers use information in different ways, so it is essential to know their incentives to follow the disclosure of information, then the efforts may work. A satisfying disclosure should contain steps of learning from cognition to ideas about a specific product or service. Different media affect the degree of consumers' attention, understanding, and usage of information. Thus it is critical to choose the right media for a specific product. (Stewart and Martin, 2004)

Recent studies such as Karagür et al., 2022 on this topic have many valuable findings that may help public policy makers, brand managers, and influencers.

 In this study, they indicate that:

"Consumers’ changing media consumption behaviors and skepticism toward traditional forms of advertising have prompted the growth of influencer marketing. Even as regulatory authorities call on brands and influencers to disclose the posts as advertising, no consistent guidelines exist. The distinct effects of self-generated versus platform-initiated disclosures also remain unclear, nor has research addressed the interplay of key influencer characteristics and marketing disclosures. This article reports on findings from the first academic field study of influencer marketing disclosures, as well as three experimental studies, which indicate that disclosure is a double-edged sword. When provided through a platform-initiated branded content tool, disclosure consistently exerts the strongest effect on perceptions of advertising, negatively relating to influencer trustworthiness and consumer engagement. The effects of disclosure type also depend on the number of followers and number of previously endorsed products (i.e., influencer characteristics). Yet, consumers also express appreciation for transparency when influencers disclose posts as advertising, which increases perceived trustworthiness of the influencer and engagement with the post."



Karagür, Z., Becker, J. M., Klein, K., & Edeling, A. (2021). How, why, and when disclosure type matters for influencer marketing. International Journal of Research in Marketing.

Stewart, D. W., & Martin, I. M. (2004). Advertising disclosures: Clear and conspicuous or understood and used?. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing23(2), 183-192. 

Wilkie, W. L. (1986). Affirmative disclosure at the FTC: Strategic dimensions. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing5(1), 123-145.