Merchant of mercy, merchant of death: How values advocacy messages influence jury deliberations

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This exploratory study addresses the ability of values advocacy messages to influence target publics behavior beyond consumer purchase decisions. In doing so, it fills a gap in the research by extending our understanding of the persuasive premises of values advocacy messages beyond rhetorical (de)construction; consumer behavior; and the establishment of typologies, definitions, and methods of inquiry. Using focus group methodology, target audience members ( n =37) of a contemporary values advocacy campaign reflect upon the messages presented in the context of jury deliberations. The findings show that focus group participants would likely reduce punitive damage judgments if exposed to values advocacy messages. The social and cultural implications exposed by participants comments reflect ongoing concern among critical scholars about the ability of corporations to manipulate public behavior and indicate the ethical conundrum between corporate and community speech.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-284
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Applied Communication Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006


  • Focus Groups
  • Jury Deliberations
  • Philip Morris
  • Values Advocacy


Dive into the research topics of 'Merchant of mercy, merchant of death: How values advocacy messages influence jury deliberations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this