First Advisor

Thomas Gillpatrick

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Business Administration: Marketing and University Honors


Business Administration


Public service advertising, Advertisers -- Public opinion, Brand name products -- Public opinion




This is an exploratory study on the effects controversial social issues in advertising has on consumers. As the current political climate becomes more and more charged, corporations are joining in on the conversation, producing advertising categorized as “controversy advertising”. However, controversy advertising hasn’t been deeply explored, and its effectiveness and goal is unclear. Data for this research is gathered through secondary and primary research, including a literature review, an interview, and a survey where respondents were asked to react to two controversy advertisements. Between secondary and primary research, this study examines how controversy advertising impacts the way people view the advertiser and the social issue presented in the advertisement.


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