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Development and validation of the consumer disillusionment toward marketing activity scale


Simon J. Pervan, Southern Cross Business School, Southern Cross University, Locked Bag 4, Coolangatta, QLD 4225, Australia.



This study examines disillusioned consumers. The theory proposes that this is a group learning to lower their expectations of firm integrity and who, to avoid being let down, ignore marketing activity directly from the firm. This kind of exchange orientation develops as a response to consistent failure in perceptions of firm integrity. The research includes six studies, including over 600 adult consumers, to outline the development and validation of a measure of consumer disillusionment toward marketing activity. Completing the process provides a valid and reliable four-item measure. In addition, the study includes the assessment of the nomological validity of the construct. The nomological validation includes using cue utilization theory to predict that disillusioned consumers favor advertising that provides evidence of verifiable integrity. The validation experiment uses print advertising containing high and low verifiable integrity stimuli. Results confirm the theory with disillusioned consumers focusing less on the firm as source of information. Further, these consumers respond more favorably than non-disillusioned consumers to third party endorsers who serve to verify the firm's attempts to show integrity. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.