Vivian C. SHEER and CHEN Ling (Hong Kong Baptist University), The Construction of Fear Appeals in Chinese Print OTC Ads: Extending the Four-Component Message Structure, English/29 pages, November 2005.


Focusing on intrinsic message characteristics, a textual analysis of 33 unique ads of OTC (over the counter medicine) from China yields: (1) cross-cultural validity of the four-component structure (severity, susceptibility, response efficacy and personal efficacy) for fear-appeal construction and (2) that the content and message framing reflect Chinese cultural values of auspiciousness, family harmony, relational co-dependence and face. An extended model is proposed to incorporate targeting approach, self-efficacy, other-efficacy, value-sensitive threats, and susceptibility, applicable to social environment of a given culture.