Title: The impact of user-generated fake news on brand equity: moderating mechanisms of brand attitude and corporate reputation
Authors: Beate E. Stiehler-Mulder; Daniel K. Maduku
Addresses: Department of Marketing Management, University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park Kingsway Campus, C-Ring 606, Johannesburg, South Africa ' Department of Marketing Management, University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park Kingsway Campus, C-Ring 604, Johannesburg, South Africa
Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of consumers' perceived realism of user-generated fake content on consumer-based brand equity. In addition, the moderating roles of both brand attitude and corporate reputation on the impact of the perceived realism of user-generated fake news on brand equity is examined. A survey design was used to obtain 354 responses randomly from a South African national consumer panel. Scale validation and hypotheses testing were assessed by means of structural equation modelling. The results show that consumers' perceived realism of fake news is significant and negatively related to brand equity. Moreover, the findings emphasise that brand attitudes and corporate reputation serve as moderating mechanisms through which the impact of the perceived realism of fake news on consumer-based brand equity is revealed. The findings extend the currently limited literature on the impact of fake user-generated content on brand equity.
Keywords: user-generated fake news; fake news; perceived realism; corporate reputation; brand attitude; social media.
International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 2023 Vol.19 No.1/2, pp.146 - 171
Received: 28 Feb 2021
Accepted: 10 Nov 2021
Published online: 09 Aug 2023 *