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Push-Me Pull-You: Comparative Advertising in the OTC Analgesics Industry

Anderson, Simon and Ciliberto, Federico and Liaukonyte, Jura and Renault, Regis (2012): Push-Me Pull-You: Comparative Advertising in the OTC Analgesics Industry.

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We model comparative advertising as brands pushing up own brand perception and pulling down the brand image of targeted rivals. We watched all TV advertisements for OTC analgesics 2001-2005 to construct matrices of rival targeting and estimate the structural model. These attack matrices identify diversion ratios and hence comparative advertising damage measures. We find that outgoing comparative advertising attacks are half as powerful as self-promotion in raising own perceived quality and cause more damage to the targeted rival than benefit to the advertiser. Comparative advertising causes most damage through the pull-down effect and has substantial benefits to other rivals.

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