English in Product Advertisements in Non-English-Speaking Countries in Western Europe: Product Image and Comprehension of the Text
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Number of pages
SourceJournal of Global Marketing, 23, 4, (2010), pp. 349-365
Article / Letter to editor
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Communicatie- en Informatiewetenschappen
Journal of Global Marketing
Although English has been shown to be the most frequently used foreign language in product advertisements in countries where it is not the native language, little is known about its effects. This article examines the response to advertisements in English compared to the response to the same ad in the local language in Western Europe on members of the target group for which the ad was intended: 715 young, highly educated female consumers. The use of English in a product ad does not appear to have any impact on image and price of the product, but it does affect text comprehension: the meaning of almost 40% of the English phrases was not understood. These results were the same for all countries involved in the study, irrespective of whether the respondents’ (self-) reported proficiency in English is high or low.
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