Segmentation in social marketing: insights from the European Union's multi-country, anti-smoking campaign

G. Walsh, L.M. Hassan, E.M.K. Shiu, C. Andrews, G. Hastings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


In 2005, the European Union launched a four-year antismoking television advertising campaign across its 25 Member States. This study aims to evaluate the second and third years (2006 and 2007) of the campaign based on telephone interviews with over 24,000 consumers (smokers, non-smokers, and ex-smokers). The study focuses on smokers and examines the potential for using segmentation and targeting in informing the campaign. Three important factors are used to identify clusters: attitude toward the campaign; comprehension of the campaign; and inclination to think responsibly about their smoking behaviour.
Cluster analyses identify three distinct and significant target groups (message-involved, message-indifferent, and message-distanced) who respond differentially to the advertising. Furthermore, the percentage of respondents within each cluster varies across the EU Member States. Using Schwartz's cultural framework, the cultural dimension of “openness to change versus conservatism” is found to explain substantial cross-national variation in message-involved and messaged-distanced respondents. Cluster solutions are shown to be stable across the two data waves. Implications of these results are discussed.
This is the first study that seeks to better understand consumer reactions to social-marketing advertising across different segments of the overall target group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1140-1164
Number of pages25
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number7/8
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • social marketing
  • anti-smoking
  • smoking cessation
  • tobacco demarketing
  • anti-tobacco policy
  • european union
  • insights
  • multi-country
  • campaign


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