This research examined corporate front-group stealth campaigns. An experiment was conducted to examine the influence of front-group stealth campaigns on a variety of measures. It was anticipated that corporate front-group stealth campaigns, which feature names that mask the true interests of sponsors, positively affect public opinion, unless they are exposed as intentionally misleading, in which case they boomerang against sponsors. The experiment examined the potential of the inoculation strategy to preempt the influence of corporate front-group stealth campaigns. The pattern of results supported all of these expectations. Front-group stealth campaigns proved to be effective, at least in the short term. Front-group stealth campaigns eroded public attitudes toward the issue in question and boosted perceptions of the front group, but not the corporate sponsor. However, when front-group stealth campaigns were subsequently exposed, positive effects dissipated and perceptions of corporate sponsors boomeranged. Results revealed that inoculation can protect against the influence of front-group stealth campaigns.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language