Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer


Vol. 1 No. 1: June, 2013


February 22, 2016


Social responsibility in advertising implies the use of commercial messages for the promotion of the wellbeing and development of the community, rather than the use of advertisements for profit motivation. Advertising is conceived here as both a social institution and a form of communication to promote positive changes in society. Using a descriptive content analysis of newspaper advertisements, this paper investigates the extent to which advertisements on Children‟s Day activities in Nigeria portrayed the myriads of challenges confronting the Nigerian Child and the level of involvement of both government and private sector organizations in the sponsorship of children‟s issue-related advertisements. Two major newspapers, (The Punch and The Guardian) published between 2000 and 2005, were purposively selected and analyzed for content. Results show that the private sector advertisers sponsored more messages on Children‟s Day activities than did governmental and non- governmental organizations (NGOs). However, while the few sponsored messages on the part of government bodies addressed the needs and social challenges of the child, the advertisements sponsored by business organizations were, expectedly, more overtly profit motivated than being socially oriented. The paper concludes with appropriate recommendations on strategies for motivating advertisers towards deeper involvement in cause marketing, otherwise called social responsibility advertising.

Keywords: Advertising; Cause-related marketing; Children‟s day; Content analysis; Social responsibility.


Adali, E. Diaz, A.; Page, P.; Shanadi, G.; Woo, C. M. & Zabad, H. (2000). “Global Best Practices”, paper presented at the American Academy of Advertising, 14th April at the Newport Marriot in Newport, RI.
Advertising Practitioners‟ Council of Nigeria (APCON) (2010). The Nigerian Code of Advertising Practice and Sales Promotion. Lagos: APCON
Covenant Journal of Communication (CJOC) Vol. 1, No. 1 (Maiden Edition), July, 2013
Arens, W. F. (1999). Contemporary Advertising. Boston: Irwin/McGraw-Hill.
Berg, B. G. V. and Katz, H. (1999). Advertising Principles: Choices, Challenge, Change. Chicago: NTC Publishing
Bihari, S. C. and Pradhan, S. (2011). “CSR and Performance: The Study of Banks in India”, Journal of Transnational Management, 16, pp20-36.
Bronn, P.S. (2001), Corporate social responsibility and cause-related marketing: an overview”, International Journal of Advertising, 20, pp 207-222.
Businessday Page 8, 16/8/2011: on 28/10/11.
Enderie, G. and Tavis, A. L. (1998), “A balanced concept of the firm and the measurement of its long-term planning and performance”, Journal of Business Ethics, 17, pp. 1129-1143.
Fanlconbridge, J.; Taylor, P.J. Beaverstock, J.V. and Naviel, C. (2008). “The Globalization of the Advertising Industry; A case study of US knowledge workers in Worldwide Economic Restructuring” A Research Report for the Sloan Foundation, United Kingdom; Globalization and World Cities (GWC), Research Network.
Harris, R. and Seldon, A. (1962). Advertising and the Public. London: Andre Deutsch Ltd.
Hooper, B. (2000). “Globalisation and Resistance in Post-Mao China: The Case of Foreign Consumer Products”, Asian Studies Review, Vol. 24 No. 4 (December) 439-470.
Kazmi, S.H.H. and Batra, S. K. (2004). Advertising and Sales Promotion. New Delhi: Excel Books.
Kayode, J. (2008). “The Public Sector Dimension in Corporate Social Responsibility Practice and Management in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects” (pp80-100). In Oso, L. and Ajayi, Y. (Eds.). Corporate Social Responsibility of Business: Principles, Practice and Perspectives. Abeokuta: Ogun State Chapter of Nigeria Institute of Public Relations.
Kreshel, P. (2009). “The adoption of social responsibility through cause-related marketing as a business strategy is unethical”, In Pardun, C. (ed.). Advertising and Society-Controversies and Consequences. United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell.
Leiss, W,; Kline, S. Social Communication in Advertising. New York: Routledge.
Melé, D. (2006). “Mainstreaming Theories on Normative Social Responsibility: Analysis from Catholic Social Thought”. Paper presented at the International Symposium on Catholic Social Thought and Management Education: The Good Company, Catholic Social thought and Social Responsibility Dialogue, Rome (October 5-7)
Merskin, D. (2009). “Companies are wise-and ethical-to use “social responsibility” as a creative strategy” (pp178-186), in Pardun, C. (ed.). Advertising and Society-Controversies and Consequences. United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell.
Mgbenu, C. (2010). “Corporate social responsibility as a model of advertisement”
Covenant Journal of Communication (CJOC) Vol. 1, No. 1 (Maiden Edition), July, 2013
cle/2575771/corporate_social_responsibility_as_pg2.html?cat=3 on 28/10/11
Nigeria's advertising industry worth N500bn, says APCON 31 Mar 2008 13:10, on 28/10/11 Core/Roper (1994). Core communications press release, 2 January.
Okedara, T. K. (2007). Corporate social responsibility: A tool for health living. Paper presented at seminar organized by Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, Ogun State Chapter, (6th August).
Olatunji, R. W. (2010). “Role of advertising in the promotion of foreign-oriented food culture among children in Nigeria”. Paper presented at the “International Conference on Media, Culture and Education”, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of English, Moulay Ismail University, Meknes, Morocco (November 23 and 25, 2010).
Olatunji, R.W., (2008). “Towards Achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Nigeria: What Rules for Corporate Social Responsibility?” (Pp 223-241). In Mojaya, E.M.; Oyewo, O.O; M‟BAYO, R, and Sobowale I.A. (eds.) Globalization and Development Communication in Africa. Ibadan: Ibadan University Press, Nigeria.
Olatunji, R. W. (2005). “Advertising Ethics in a Deregulated Economy: The case of Nigeria” (pp 659-665). In Kaynak, E. & Harcar, T. D. (eds.). Global Business: The Challenges and Responsibilities in a World of Shifting Alliances. Hummelstown, PA 17036, USA: The International Management Development Association (IMDA). (ISBN: 1-888624-04-3)
Oyagbola, A. (2006). CSR: The imperative for business survival, PR Review, 1 p. 36.
Pardun, C. (2009). “Advertising and social responsibility: Being Good is Always a Good Idea- Right?” (pp175-177, in Pardun, C. (ed.). Advertising and Society-Controversies and Consequences. United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell.
Rawlins, B.L. (2005). “Corporate social responsibility”, (pp210-214), In Heath, R. L. (Ed.). Encyclopedia of Public Relations, Vol. 1. Thousand, Oaks: Sage Publications.
RSW (1996). The Green Gauge Reports. New York: RSW Inc.
Stadler, J. (2004). AIDS ads: make a commercial, make a difference? Corporate social responsibility and the media.” Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 18, pp 591-610
White, C. (2005). “Cause- related marketing”, (pp118-120), in Heath, R.L.(Ed.) Encyclopedia of Public Relations, Vol.1. Thousand, Oaks: Sage Publications
Wiegner, K.K. (1985). “A cause on every carton?” Forbes, (November 18), pp 248-249), accessed from: on June 11, 2006.