Corporate promotion and climate change: an analysis of key variables affecting advertising spending by major oil corporations, 1986–2015

Robert J. Brulle, Melissa Aronczyk, Jason Carmichael

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Advertising by fossil fuel companies is a ubiquitous element of modern political life. Promotional campaigns in the service of a corporation’s position toward environmental issues such as climate change are prevalent in the oil and gas sectors, where corporate image is seen as a valuable asset in managing risk, controlling negative media attention, and overcoming resistance by antagonistic civil society groups. This article assesses advertising expenditures by five major oil and gasoline companies for the time period 1986 to 2015. We examine four major factors that may influence spending on advertising by the oil and gas sectors: (1) the overall reputation of the oil and gas sector; (2) congressional attention to climate change; (3) media attention to climate change; and (4) a series of control variables including major oil spills, the publication of major climate change reports, overall public concern about climate change, GDP, and oil prices. We find that the factors that most influence corporate promotional spending are media coverage and congressional attention to the issue of climate change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-101
Number of pages15
JournalClimatic Change
Volume159
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Atmospheric Science

Keywords

  • Advertising
  • Climate change
  • Major oil corporations

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