The importance of CSR practices and their impact on corporate image in the outdoor advertising industry

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Title: The importance of CSR practices and their impact on corporate image in the outdoor advertising industry
Author: Pirhonen, Katri
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Maatalous-metsätieteellinen tiedekunta
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry
Helsingfors universitet, Agrikultur- och forstvetenskapliga fakulteten
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2021
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Degree program: Maatalous-, ympäristö- ja luonnonvaraekonomian maisteriohjelma
Master´s Programme in Agricultural, Environmental and Rescource Economics)
Magisterprogrammet i lantbruks -, miljö- och naturresursekonomi
Specialisation: Maatalousekonomia
Agricultural Economics
Abstract: The topic of this master’s thesis is the importance of CSR practices and their impact on corporate image in the outdoor advertising industry, focusing on two research questions: 1. What CSR practices are often adopted in the outdoor advertising companies? 2. Which CSR practices adopted most matter for their customers/business partners and how do the outdoor advertising companies’ CSR practices have an influence on their images? The study uses JCDecaux and Clear Channel as case studies which are the biggest outdoor advertising companies in Finland and belong on the list of biggest outdoor advertising companies worldwide. Desk research was conducted for the first research question by going through the provided CSR (corporate social responsibility) information shared on the case companies’ reports and websites. Following this was an investigation and designed questionnaire for the second research question, its target group being media and marketing agencies that had worked with outdoor advertising campaigns earlier. The questionnaire focused on the respondents’ attitudes towards CSR and on how important they regarded different CSR practices. The respondents were asked to rank the importance on a 5-point Likert scale and explain. These listed practices were from the outdoor advertising industry or from the advertising industry overall. The results of the first research question show that the case companies have a serious approach to CSR with different practices from the three CSR dimensions; environmental, social, and governance. Based on the information found, many CSR practices are highlighted but there could be some improvements made on reporting and sharing the information so that it would be easily accessible. The results of the second research question portray that CSR is regarded as an important matter and the listed CSR practices were rated on average above 3 on a 5-point Likert scale. A common explanation was that the matters are viewed as important on a personal level but when it comes to buying outdoor advertising it all depends on the type of client and campaign. There was a general interest in the information and more transparency and details were wanted. It is believed that the topic of CSR is not very common in Finland yet but that its importance may rise in the future. In the future more outdoor advertising companies could be compared amongst each other and more companies from the media industry could be surveyed and interviewed, which could make the study more comprehensive. The major limitations in the study are the number of contacts reached and the timing being during the Covid-19 situation in Finland.
Subject: corporate social responsibility
outdoor advertising
Clear Channel
desk research

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