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The growing consciousness on environmental sustainability has made several companies to
join the campaign on green living which is the aim of green advertising. It is on this premise
that this study undertakes an assessment of green advertising on clean environment in southsouth
Nigeria. Using the survey and content analysis methods of research, the researcher
sampled 291 respondents randomly selected from three south-south states (i.e. Edo, Delta
and Rivers States) and also content analyzed green advertising messages on some selected
disposable products. The findings reveal among other things that individuals are conscious of
having clean environment with or without green advertising messages on products or through
the media. In view of this, the researcher recommends among other things that there is need
for audience research to ascertain the best approach to creating impact oriented green
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. i
Certification .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ii
Dedication .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. iii
Acknowledgements .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. iv
Table of Contents.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. v
List of Tables .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. vii
Abstract .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. viii
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1
1.1 Background of the Study .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1
1.2 Statement of the Problem .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 4
1.3 Objectives of the Study .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 6
1.4 Research Questions .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 6
1.5 Significance of the Study .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 6
1.6 Scope of the Study .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 7
1.7 Definition of Terms .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 8
References .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 9
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW .. .. .. .. .. .. 11
2.0 Introduction .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 11
2.1 Overview of Green Advertising .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 11
2.2 Green Advertising and Sustainable Environment .. .. .. .. .. 14
2.3 Empirical Studies on Consumer Behaviour to Environmental Issues .. .. .. 17
2.4 Sustainable Communication and Clean Environment .. .. .. .. .. 20
2.5 Summary of Review .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 21
2.6 Theoretical Framework .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 22
References .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 25
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY .. .. .. .. 29
3.1 Research Design …. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 29
3.2 Population of Study .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 29
3.3 Sample Size and Sampling Technique .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 29
3.4 Instrument for Data Collection .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 30
3.5 Validity and Reliability of Instrument .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 30
3.6 Method of Data Analysis .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 32
3.7 Limitation of Methodology .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 32
References .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 33
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION AND INTERPRETATION.. .. 34
4.1 Data Presentation and Analysis .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 34
4.2 Discussion on Findings.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 42
4.3 Summary of Findings .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 49
References .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 51
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND
RECOMMENDATIONS .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 53
5.1 Summary .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 53
5.2 Conclusion .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 53
5.3 Recommendations .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 54
Bibliography .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 55
Appendix .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 61
1.1 Background of the Study
The ways in which the environment and issues relating explicitly to the
environment are represented in the media have been continuously evolving ever since
the environmental movement came into being. The environment has been the focus of
some of the most memorable media spectacles of the last 25 years (Cox, 2008: 32). In
1987 a document prepared by the World Commission on Environment and
Development defined sustainable development as “meeting the needs of the present
without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own need.” This
became known as the Brundtland Report and was another step towards widespread
thinking on sustainability in everyday activity (Banerjee, Gulus & Lyer, 1995).
Arising from the Brundtland Report and Environmental Movements across the
globe, environmental issues became an increasingly public concern during the last
decades. Issues of global warming and climate change have come to the forefront,
thus raising interest even in corporate advertising. World leaders are increasingly
worried about the environment in which we live. Leaders of the world have had
various meetings and summits on climate change, global warming and other related
global environmental issues. This is important because man completely depends on
his environment for survival and sustenance. The massive disastrous activities of man
to the environment and its immense importance have raised environmental issues to
the top of international agenda.
Today, as the world is concerned about sustainable environment, climate
change or global warming, the need to preserve, protect and promote the environment
has become paramount to us and our survival. The numerous environmental problems
being experienced in the world today such as the Asian Tsunami, hurricanes, floods,
volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, pollutions, solid wastes and other numerous
environmental problems occasioned by man are issues of great concern to nations of
the world. The environment is indeed degraded in many ways. One of such ways by
which the environment has been degraded and defaced is the indiscriminate disposal
or dumping of solid wastes like Can drinks, bottles, food packs and many others on
our streets and roads.
The use of green advertising has become imperative as it addresses the
relationship between a product and the biophysical environment (Banerjee, Gulus &
The role of mass media in contemporary society has been a topic of inquiry,
which has created as many questions as it has answered. The attitude of an individual
towards environmental issues in Nigeria can be traced to how effective the media have
played its role in sensitizing and moulding opinions towards sustainable environment,
which is what green advertising seeks to achieve. An environmental friendly media
will adopt all available strategies towards achieving favourable attitudinal change on
As an advertising strategy that has the characteristics of being able to promote
a green lifestyle and at times, enhance a corporate image of social responsibility,
green advertising promotes good living through a clean and healthy environment.
Many individuals as well as organisations are yet to change their attitudes or
behaviours and organisational policies in favour of sustainable development and clean
environment. Many consumers manufacturing firms in Nigeria are yet to contribute
towards clean environment.
However, global companies like Coca-Cola, Toyota, IBM, and manufacturer of
fruit drinks like 5 Alive (Coca-Cola Nig.), Chivita (Chi Nig.), and others now focus
on green advertising and sustainability of the environment. Organisations are now
taking interest in green advertising and environmental management through their
products and services. Environmental issues also have strategic implications for
organisations. Consumer concerns about the environment have been on the increase in
recent years. The deteriorating environment that has developed in recent decades had
made marketing researchers to find a new line of research that has been given various
labels, such as ecological marketing (Chamorro, Rubio and Miranda, 2009:233). It is
the analysis of how marketing activities impact on the environment and how the
environmental variable can be incorporated into the various decisions of corporate
marketing. With the increasing number of “green” customers, businesses attempt to
understand and respond to external pressures to improve their environmental
performance (Chen, 2008:271).
The environment is central to every human activity and as such, would be used
in coordinating the resources for a “synergistic approach to management of the
environment” (Nwabueze, 2007:45). There have been many approaches towards clean
environment. One of such approaches is the adoption and application of advertising
into environmental management or studies. Advertising is exciting, dynamic and
pervasive in nature.
The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) defines advertising
as the non-personal communication of information, usually paid for and usually
persuasive in nature about products or ideas by identified sponsors through various
media (APCON, cited in Benson-Eluma, 2004:3). This implies that advertising is a
persuasive communication that tries to persuade the target audience to respond
positively to the goods or service. As part of its functions, advertising is to educate
and inform. Nwabueze (2007:86) believes that advertising can be used as part of its
functions to educate and inform the public on environmental management or clean
environment. This can be done in advertisements and in the packaging of products and
By application, green advertising as Nwabueze (2007:86) sees it, explores how
advertising principles and practices are employed by organisations on the environment
with the aim of ensuring an environmentally sustainable achievement of marketing
objectives. Green advertising in this context is a specific type of advertising that is
centred on the promotion of factors having to do with the environment. Oftentimes,
the companies that use green advertising also use very environmentally friendly
operations and products packaging as well. This concept has enabled the re-marketing
and packaging of existing products which already or not adhere to environmental
guidelines (Banerjee, Gulus & Lyer, 1995).
Today, green advertising claims abound in both the traditional media (i.e., broadcast
and print) and the new media (web sites, streaming audio and video, e-mail, DVDs
and CD-ROMs). Moreover, one can expect to see increasing numbers of green
advertising claims in the future in such new media venues as virtual reality
environments, the integration of digital data with the telephone – such as Internet
telephony – and mobile computing.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
There has been significantly less concern and studies in Nigeria on sustainable
development or clean environment through advertising campaigns known as green
advertising. Many Nigerians may not be familiar with the concept/term- green
advertising or aware of eco-friendly (environmental) products owing to the above
There are also less and unmonitored accurate corporate social responsibility
claims on green marketing on environmental management. By implication, many
manufacturers of consumer products such as table/sachet water, fruits drinks in can
and pack, can beer, beverages and all the likes do not have environmental message on
their products. Products with messages or label package like ‘recyclable’, ‘reusable’,
‘keep Nigeria clean’, ‘dispose properly’, ‘ozonised’ and so on, are hardly seen or
displayed. Even those with environmental message on their products or packs, the
messages are not conspicuously displayed. Many Nigerians do not know how to
dispose waste properly. Indiscriminate dumping and disposal of waste is a common
practice among many Nigerians. There are no enough trash cans on our streets and
major roads. This affects clean environment. There are no effective and sufficient
media campaigns (green advertising) on clean environment.
The way a message is presented determines how it will be perceived and its
ability to engender positive attitudinal change in a busy society like ours. The
assumption is that the way the public perceive issues about clean environment has
been greatly influenced by poor media advertising geared towards clean environment.
This limited knowledge perceived among the general public is likely be
attributed to lack of consistent proactive approaches by producers in sensitizing the
public on how not to dispose the packs, sachets or cans of food and drink products
after use. Green advertising has become imperative in addressing these issues as they
relate to clean environment so as to ensure environmental sustainability. But for this to
succeed certain marketing tools need to be applied.
Peattie (2001:187) identified inadequate tool for green advertising. To him,
“while green marketing and advertising efforts continue to grow, marketers do not
have adequate tools for evaluating the success of green advertising, nor do they have
sufficient tools for determining consumers’ environmental attitudes, intentions, and
behaviours. Additionally, there is little consensus about the identity and nature of
green consumers” (Peattie, 2001). Understanding and predicting environmental
behaviour has proved to be remarkably difficult. Nearly everyone has concerns and
beliefs regarding the environment, however, environmental attitudes have not been
correspondingly ubiquitous (McCarty and Shrum, 2001).
The government seemed incapable of handling environment challenges. Where
government has failed, many businesses are increasingly getting into the act and
offering “green” alternatives, like the green environmental products and services.
Based on the forgoing, this study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of green
advertising on clean environment in south-south Nigeria.
1.3. Objectives of the Study
In a broader perspective, this study seeks to increase knowledge in existing
studies in green advertising. But specifically, it will among other things:
1. Determine whether consumers’ in South-South Nigeria are aware of green
2. Establish if green advertisements are effective for clean environment in South-
3. Ascertain whether attitude towards clean environment are influenced by green
4. Find out the challenges facing green advertising in South-South Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
The following research questions were formulated based on the above objectives:
1. Are consumers in South-South Nigeria aware of green advertising?
2. How effective are green advertisements for clean environment in South-South
3. To what extent does green advertising influence attitudes of consumers in South-
South Nigeria towards clean environment?
4. What are the challenges facing green advertising in South-South Nigeria?
1.6 Significance of the Study
Given the pervasiveness of environmental impacts by organizations, the study
will be relevant to organizations that manufacture consumer goods and services like
beverage foods, energy and fruits drinks, table water and the likes. This would enable
them know the impact of the products on the environment and the need to increase
green advertising awareness. Through regular green advertising campaigns by
organizations in the mass media, public awareness on clean and sustainable
environment will increase.
This study will enable policy makers, professionals and all stakeholders
involved in environmental management and public health see the need to take green
campaigns serious. That is, it will raise interest in clean environment through green
advertising. Also, media sensitization of the public on green/clean environment will
further raise the efforts of the Environmental Protection Agencies and other relevant
environmental bodies in Nigeria.
Findings from this research will help the mass media practitioners see the need
to increase public awareness, especially through the broadcast media, which would
enhance public knowledge and practice on clean environment. Regular environmental
news can awake public knowledge, and perhaps interest and awareness on green
One other significance of the research is to contribute to knowledge in the
academic community. The study will be significant to existing knowledge on green
advertising as well as clean environment in general. While other studies have looked
at green advertising from different perspectives, this study looks at it from the angle of
environmental messages on consumer’ products in order to promote environmental
awareness and right attitudes towards clean environment.
1.7 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study covers the three selected states from the South-South
Geo-political zone of Nigeria (i.e. Delta, Edo and Rivers States). Product categories
were also parts of the scope of study. In order to make the consumers have a clear
picture of green advertising, the scope of the concept was limited to these categories
(i) Fruit drinks like 5 Alive, Exotic, Chivita, Hollandia, Happy Hour, Cappy, etc
(ii) Energy drinks like Red Bull, Bullet, Power Horse, Lucozade boost etc.
(iii) Can drinks –all alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
(iv) Packed snack food like Galla, Biscuits, and Cake etc.
(v) Table and sachet water.
(vi) Recharge cards of all GSM networks
Consumers would be asked to identify whether these categories of products
contain information like ‘recyclable’, ‘reuse’, ‘keep the environment clean’, ‘dispose
properly’ etc. The reason why these categories of food products were chosen was
because they are easily bought and consumed by consumers on the streets, roads, cars
and buses and other places. Their packs are easily thrown in the streets and major
roads across Nigeria.
1.7 Definition of Terms
The terms below were the major concepts used and they are explained in the
context of the study.
Advertising: A paid form of non personal presentation and promotion of ideas,
goods or services by an identified sponsor (The American Marketing Association).
Here, it is taken that advertising is a medium through the mass media to reach target
consumers of goods and services.
Green advertising: This is the application of advertising and marketing principles in
managing the environment. Here, it is advertising campaigns aimed at promoting
Environment: This is the collection of natural and artificial arrangements in which
humanity is completely dependent upon for survival and existence.
Clean environment: A neat and healthy place to stay both for humans and animals.
Perception: The process of using the senses to acquire information about the
surrounding environment or situation. The way an individual interprets and gives
meaning to things.
Public Perception: People’s attitude, feelings, interpretations or understanding of
things like the environment based on what is observed or thought.
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