HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège
HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège

A content-analysis of the advertisements in the automotive industry

Hemmerlin, Tanya ULiège
Promotor(s) : Delcourt, Cécile ULiège
Date of defense : 31-Aug-2021/6-Sep-2021 • Permalink :
Title : A content-analysis of the advertisements in the automotive industry
Author : Hemmerlin, Tanya ULiège
Date of defense  : 31-Aug-2021/6-Sep-2021
Advisor(s) : Delcourt, Cécile ULiège
Committee's member(s) : Ferrara, Charlotte ULiège
Blaurock, Marah 
Language : English
Number of pages : 115
Keywords : [en] Greenwashing
[en] Automotive industry
[en] Content-analysis
[en] Advertisements in the car industry
[en] Advertising
[en] Environmental issues
Discipline(s) : Business & economic sciences > Marketing
Target public : General public
Institution(s) : Université de Liège, Liège, Belgique
Degree: Master en sciences de gestion, à finalité spécialisée en international strategic marketing
Faculty: Master thesis of the HEC-Ecole de gestion de l'Université de Liège


[en] The content analysis of the ads proved to be very interesting at many different levels. Firstly, it was proved that the use of obvious forms of greenwashing in the Trends Tendances magazine decreased from 2009 to 2019. The manufacturers probably found out that obvious forms of greenwashing could be detected by the consumers and this could be penalizing for a company. Therefore, instead of using obvious claims, they switched to using another form of greenwashing called executional greenwashing. This is simply the use of nature-evoking imagery in the ads. It is in 2019 that the least greenwashing was seen on average, but more than half of the ads featured a picture evoking nature. Such claims are hardly detectable for the consumers and therefore the manufacturers have less chances to have to deal with the undesirable consequences of it. However, instead of trying to find new ways of misleading the consumers, the manufacturers should work on more environmental-conscious solutions. Indeed with the future EU regulations about transportation coming, some manufacturers have a lot to improve to meet those requirements.
Then, the cars promoted in that magazine showed to be always more polluting than the EU targets in place or to be achieved at that time. Since the target group of the magazine is economic actors, the manufacturers should promote the electric vehicles way more since those people are the ones who can benefit from tax deductions when buying such a vehicle.
Finally, from an ethical point of view, trying to mislead the consumers is not really considered as a good thing. Therefore, the manufacturers should try being honest and transparent about their products. Indeed the costs of misleading the consumers usually overcome the marketing benefits of using such strategies. Executional greenwashing may work well now but one has to consider the long-term implications that its use can have.



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  • Hemmerlin, Tanya ULiège Université de Liège > Master sc. gest., à fin.


Committee's member(s)

  • Ferrara, Charlotte ULiège Université de Liège - ULiège > HEC Liège : UER > UER Management : Sustainable Strategy
    ORBi View his publications on ORBi
  • Blaurock, Marah
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  • Total number of downloads 12

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