Greener On the Other Side? A Comparative Content Analysis of Environmental Claims in Magazine Advertisements in China and the United States

Fei Xue, University of Southern Mississippi
Peiqin Zhou, Nanjing University


To help understand how media in China and the United States respond to the growing environmental concern, the authors conducted a comparative content analysis to study environmental advertising claims in two weekly Chinese news magazines--Liao Wang and China News Weekly--and two weekly U.S. news magazines--Time and Newsweek. The use of environmental claims, advertising strategy, and advertiser characteristics were examined. Results showed that ads in Time and Newsweek placed more emphasis on corporate images, green brand logos, green/nature visuals, eco-labels, adoption of renewable materials, recyclying, and price benefit. By contrast, Liao Wang and China News Weekly placed more emphasis on green products, need satisfaction, and quality benefit.