A case in point is Andrew Ehrenberg who advanced a controversial treatise in 1974 about how advertising works. He challenged the assumption that advertising has the capacity to change attitudes unaided, and suggested that it normally worked by strengthening beliefs shaped from what are usually high level of consumer experience and awareness (Heath 2006). The argument of Ehrenberg was concentrated on the prevalent theory that advertising was a strong kind of persuasion, and his assumption became widely accepted among advertising agencies (Agres, Edell & Dubitsky 1990). However, it is important to take into consideration the fact that it was a period when the sales impacts of advertising were viewed by many as lasting, difficult to determine even in observation and hard to predict (Agres et al. 1990).
Ehrenberg had ascertained that there were 100% loyal customers in most markets, and majority of these buyers purchased more than one brand. He discovered that brand consumers had consistent stronger attitudes than non-consumers, but unable to adequately clarify how these attitudes occurred (Heath 2006). This encouraged him to challenge the central theory within the models of hierarchy of effects: that change in attitude comes first and forces change in behaviour (Shrum 2004). He believed that advertising can build, rekindle or reinforce brand awareness, and can be an aspect that enables trial purchase (Wells 1997). However, he also visualised a protective function for repetitive advertising as “reinforcing already developed repeat buying habits” (Weitz & Wensley 2002: 289). Afterwards, he expanded this to include split-loyal buyers, or those who habitually buy more than one brand, and identified a further function for advertising as ‘nudging’ or pushing split-loyals towards a larger buying percentage of one brand or another (Weitz & Wensley 2002).
On the other hand, Jones disputed the influence of