The Effectiveness of Comparative Versus Non-Comparative Advertising: Do “Strictly” Comparative Ads Hurt Credibility of Non-Professional Service Brands?

Fred Beard

University of Oklahoma


  • The potential for negative outcomes is a very real possibility when prominent non-professional service brands identify one other by name in their campaigns.
  • Services advertisers who use strictly¬Ě comparative advertising are justified in doing so if their target audiences are mainly younger consumers and if claims of believability¬Ě are not crucial for advertising effectiveness.
  • If message or claim believability is critical, non-comparative advertising likely will be more effective than comparative advertising, regardless of target audience age.