Research on Advertising in a Recession: A Critical Review and Synthesis

Based on an extensive review of research on advertising in a recession, the authors identify over 40 related studies.

Research on Advertising in a Recession: A Critical Review and Synthesis

Gerard J. Tellis and Kethan Tellis Marshall School of Business University of Southern California


Periodically, recessions afflict the U.S. and world economies. At such time, firms face declining revenues and shortages of cash. Their natural tendency is to cut back on seemingly discretionary expenditures such as R&D, marketing, and advertisin

Boulton, Richard. “Advertising in a Recession: Keep It Up.” February 1, 1991. Bucher, Matt. “Advisor: A Slow Economy May be Just the Time to Increase Marketing Efforts.” July 1, 2003. Carrick, Paul M., Jr. “Why Continued Advertising is Necessary.” 23, 4 (1959): 386–98. Chen, Andrew. “Online Advertising During a Recession: 5 Key Trends for Ad-Based Startups,” June 19, 2008: [URL: ], Clark, Ed. “Recession Marketing Strategies.” The Clark Company, November 15, 2001: [URL: ], accessed June 18, 2008. Clark, Scott. “Marketing During a Recession? Get the Wind at Your Back.” January 21, 2008: [URL: ]. Cox, Jim. “A Recession Can Be Good for Your Business.” June 18, 2008: [URL: ]. Dixon, Simon. “Advertising During a Recession?” June 8, 2008: [URL: ]. Hollis, Nigel. “Marketing During Recession: Survival Tactics.” Millward Brown, May 8, 2008. Johnson, Tera. “Marketing in a Recession.” Chrysalis TCF, LLC, June 18, 2008: [URL: ]. “Recessions Provide a Perfect Opportunity for Advertising to Do Its Job,” June 18, 2008: [URL: ]. Marken, Andy. “Recession Spending.” Evan Carmichael, June 18, 2008: [URL: ]. “Ad Spend Cuts are False Economy, Says Study,” April 15, 1999. —. “Does Advertising Really Help During a Recession?” December 6, 2002. Mazurkiewicz, Greg. “Advertising throughout a Recession.” January 16, 2002: [URL: ]. Millward Brown. “Managing Your Brand in a Recession,” February 2008: [URL: ]. “Advertising in Tough Economic Times.” 4, 1 (2006): [URL: ]. Neff, Jack. “Recession Can Be a Marketer's Friend.” March 2008: [URL: ]. NW Ayer Report. “Advertising During a Recession: Key Issues Anti Opportunities.” September 1, 1991. Quelch, John. “Marketing Your Way through a Recession.” March 3, 2008: [URL: ]. Srinivasan, Raji, Arvind Rangaswamy, and Gary L. Lilien. “Turning Adversary into Advantage: Does Proactive Marketing During a Recession Pay Off?” 22 (2005): 109–25. Swearingen, Jake. “Advertising During a Recession.” January 31, 2008: [URL: ]. Taylor Mack Advertising. “Advertising in Lean Times,” June 18, 2008: [URL: ]. “Hold Prices Right There,” October 2001: [URL: ]. Wagner, Louis C. “Advertising and the Business Cycle.” 6, 2 (1941): 124–25. Warner, Charles. “Advertising Strategies in a Slowdown,” June 18, 2008: [URL: ].