Date of Award

Winter 2002

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Business Administration-Marketing

Committee Director

Earl D. Honeycutt, Jr

Committee Member

Kiran Karande

Committee Member

Ted Englebrecht


One of the primary attributes of a free market economy is the uninhibited flow of truthful information regarding the goods and services available in the marketplace (Azcuenaga 1995). This free flow of information, in the form of advertising, enhances market performance by informing consumers and enabling firms to compete equitably based on the attributes of their offerings. Studies reveal that, for the vast majority of marketing managers, the regulatory environment serves as the primary influence in advertising strategy development and decision-making (Davis 1994). However, in their theory development, behavioral researchers often ignore the legal aspects promulgated by the FTC. Furthermore, ambiguity in the FTC's guidelines regarding deception in advertising continues to impede advertisers in their ability to reduce the possibility of potentially deceptive advertising claims (Owen and Plyler 1991; Preston 1992; Davis 1994). Such ambiguity can cause potentially deceptive advertising claims to be presented by marketing mangers even though these managers believe that they are in full compliance with the law.