Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Douglas Bock


This study sought to gauge whether advocacy advertisements produced by R. J. Reynolds would affect people's perception of the company, and whether these perceptions would differ between males and females. Subjects were 29 male and 41 female professionals and businesspersons, all members of a professional business organization. Subjects completed a two part survey after reading an advocacy ad produced by R. J. Reynolds. Quantitative information was gathered through the use of a Likert-type scale in Part 1 of the survey; in Part 2 respondents answered open-ended questions. Results indicated that respondents viewed the ads negatively, believing they were biased and self-serving. Median scores demonstrated that no significant differences in perceptions were exhibited by male and female respondents. Eigenvalues indicated one factor accounted for 35.15% of variance for female respondents, while two factors accounted for 49.8% of variance for male respondents. Results suggest that companies engaging in advocacy advertising need to be aware that the target audience may perceive the ads as biased, self-serving, and lacking credibility.