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This research addresses web advertising placement issues by examining two main variables: website reputation and the relevance between website content and banner ad product category. Online data collection using adapted websites yielded different results for high-versus low-involvement products. Advertising effectiveness for a high-involvement product appears to be relevance-driven, with reputation enhancing outcomes only when the website's content is relevant to the advertised product category. In contrast, advertising effectiveness for a low-involvement product is reputation-driven: when a site's reputation is well established, relevance exhibits no effect on outcomes. Results are consistent with Elaboration Likelihood Model predictions and the contention that variables can serve dual roles in the persuasion process, depending on the experimental context.
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