Titel: Distracted driving prevention: an analysis of recent UK campaigns

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyze message features of fear appeals in current British roadsafety campaigns directed against mobile phone use while driving and to discuss barriers to explicit theoryuse in campaign message design.

Design/methodology/Approach – This message-centred research takes a qualitative content analyticalapproach to analyze nine British web-based road safety campaigns directed against mobile phone use whiledriving based on the extended parallel process model. Message content and message structure are analyzed.

Findings – There still exists a gap between theory and road safety campaign practice. The study revealsthat campaigns with fear appeals primarily use threatening messages but neglect efficacy-based contents.Severity messages emerge as the dominant content type while self-efficacy and response efficacy are hardlyrepresented. Fear appeal content in the threat component was mainly communicated through the mention oflegal,financial and physical harm, whereas efficacy messages communicated success stories andencouragement. As regards message structure, the threat component always preceded the efficacycomponent. Within each component, different patterns emerged.

Practical implications – To enhance efficacy in campaigns directed against distracted driving and toreduce the gap between theory and practice, social marketers should include messages that empowerrecipients to abstain from mobile phone use while driving. Campaigns should show recommended behavioursand highlight their usefulness and effectiveness.

Originality/value – This paper adds to limited research conducted on effect-independent messageproperties of fear appeals. It enhances understanding of fear appeal message features across the structure andcontent dimension. By discussing barriers to explicit theory use in social marketing practice and offeringpractical implications for social marketers, it contributes towards reducing the barriers to explicit theory usein campaign message design.

Schlagworte: Social marketing, Road safety, Distracted driving, Fear appeals, Extended parallel process model, United Kingdom, Accident prevention/road safety
Publikationstyp: Beitrag in Zeitschrift (Autorenschaft)
Art der Veröffentlichung Online Publikation
Erschienen in: Journal of Social Marketing
Journal of Social Marketing
zur Publikation
 ( Emerald Group Publishing Limited; )
Erscheinungsdatum: 13.04.2020
Titel der Serie: -
Bandnummer: -
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Erstveröffentlichung: Ja
Version: -
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ISSN: 2042-6763
AC-Nummer: -
Open Access
  • Online verfügbar (Open Access)


Organisation Adresse
Fakultät für Wirtschaftswissenschaften
Institut für Unternehmensführung
Abteilung für Marketing und Internationales Management
Universitätsstrasse 65-67
9020 Klagenfurt
zur Organisation
Universitätsstrasse 65-67
AT - 9020  Klagenfurt


  • 502019 - Marketing
  • Public Health
  • Social Science Citation Index (SSCI)
Informationen zum Zitationsindex: Master Journal List
Peer Reviewed
  • Ja
  • Science to Science (Qualitätsindikator: I)
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