Abstract: This study is the first to focus on effects of commerciality of customer magazines on readers’ reactions. The experiment (N=349 students) involves six versions of the same customer magazine that vary along two dimensions of commerciality: the amount of brand integration (0%, 50%, or 100%) and the source (neutral or commercial). The findings show that the more commercial the customer magazine, the more frequently it is perceived as having a persuasive intent and as being less credible. Furthermore, the magazine’s commerciality negatively affects readers’ attitudes toward the magazine, via perceptions of credibility and the magazine’s persuasive intent. Source credibility and persuasion knowledge theory support these indirect effects.
Keywords: brand placement, product placement, magazines, customer magazines, sponsored magazines, readers, persuasion knowledge, credibility