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Understanding the ethical legitimacy of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship in Indonesia in the context of increased government regulation: a legitimacy-as-perception perspective

Tjandra, Nathalia Christiani; Garavan, Thomas N.; Aroean, Lukman; Prabandari, Yayi Suryo

Authors

Thomas N. Garavan

Lukman Aroean

Yayi Suryo Prabandari



Abstract

Purpose
The authors explore the metaphors people from Indonesia use to describe their propriety beliefs about the ethical legitimacy of tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship (TAPS). This paper aims to understand why there is a consensus of propriety beliefs about the ethical legitimacy of TAPS in the face of increased government regulations and international criticism of such marketing practices.

Design/methodology/approach
The data were collected from 71 study participants using both focus groups and in-depth photo-elicitation interviews.

Findings
The participants use three sets of metaphors to describe propriety beliefs. First, participants used metaphors that described the centrality of TAPS and smoking in Indonesian society. Second, they used metaphors that described TAPS regulations and regulators and third, they used metaphors that described the activities of tobacco firms. Participants’ photographs revealed strong collective validity of TAPS within Indonesia and strong propriety beliefs consensus.

Research limitations/implications
This study is one of the first to integrate legitimacy-as-perception theory and the ecological systems framework to gain a multilevel insight into the TAPS activities are perceived as legitimate and, therefore, not unethical.

Practical implications
The findings have important implications for tobacco control regulators who wish to curtail TAPS in a country where all levels of the ecological system reinforce their collective validity. Policy and regulative initiatives must, therefore, be used in a systemic way to change this collective validity.

Originality/value
To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is one of the first to use a legitimacy perspective to understand the ethical legitimacy of TAPS in marketing literature. It is also the first, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, to use the three legitimacy-as-perception constructs: propriety beliefs, collective validity and consensus of propriety beliefs. The authors show that despite increased government regulations and international disapproval, TAPS continues to be considered ethically legitimate in Indonesia.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Apr 7, 2022
Publication Date 2022-04
Deposit Date May 8, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 9, 2022
Journal European Journal of Marketing
Print ISSN 0309-0566
Electronic ISSN 0309-0566
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 56
Issue 4
Pages 1042-1064
DOI https://doi.org/10.1108/ejm-06-2019-0512
Public URL http://researchrepository.napier.ac.uk/Output/2870105

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