Paid- versus donated-media strategies for public service announcement campaigns

John P. Murry, Antonie Stam, John L. Lastovicka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Public service announcement (PSA) campaigns have traditionally relied on donated rather than paid advertising media. Recently, however, both government agencies and charitable organizations have questioned whether donated-media strategies should be abandoned for paid-media PSA campaigns. The present research examines this issue in a three-market field experiment comparing the effectiveness of "paid versus donated" PSA campaigns in decreasing youthful male drinking and driving. Dependent variables include (1) self-reports of behaviors from sample surveys and (2) official counts of incapacitating and fatal highway accidents. Results show that both campaigns were equally effective and both were cost efficient. Thus, in light of these results, it is recommended that social marketers not abandon donated-media PSA campaigns for paid-media PSA campaigns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
JournalPublic Opinion Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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