Year of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Communication Studies.

Principal Supervisor

Hung, Kineta


Postemployment benefits, Malaysia, Pension trusts, Investments, Advertising, Financial services industry, Malaysia




This dissertation examines the impact of advertising self-disclosures (present versus absent) and advertising message appeals (hard sell versus soft sell) which is moderated by innate personal traits within the context of financial services advertising. In particular this study investigates the impact of self-regulatory focus (i.e. innate personal traits) on self-disclosures and advertising message appeal with regards to cognitive (knowledge), affective (attribute evaluation) and conative (buying intention) responses of retail investors. The industry concerns private retirement schemes (PRS). The theoretical framework is based on Higgins (2012) regulatory focus theory on chronic personal disposition inherent in an individual (i.e. prevention/promotion), and how this disposition might mitigate with self-disclosures and message appeal contained in advertisements in terms knowledge, attribute evaluation (i.e. attitude) and buying intention. ANOVA results from a between subjects experiment indicated that the individual regulatory orientation interacts with the effects of advertising self-disclosures and message appeals. Specifically, when exposed to hard sell advertisements with self- disclosures (soft sell advertisements with self-disclosures) perceived knowledge, attribute evaluation and buying intention towards the PRS is favorable to prevention oriented investors (promotion oriented investors). In addition the effect is greater on prevention subjects in comparison to promotion subjects. This study proposes theoretical, managerial, public policy implications and future research directions.


Principal supervisor: Professor Kineta Hung. ; Thesis submitted to the Department of Communication Studies. ; Thesis (Ph.D.)--Hong Kong Baptist University, 2015.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 148-190)


The author retains all rights to this work. The author has signed an agreement granting HKBU a non-exclusive license to archive and distribute their thesis.