The current leading third party logistics industry players have all experienced a shift towards an increasingly retail consumer point of contact, therefore facilitating the need to appeal to the retail consumer through advertising and brand management. With the rise in word-of-mouth (WOM) advertising in online, Web 2.0 contexts, this empirical work represented a first attempt to investigate the correlation between the placement of corporate ads on a user-generated Web 2.0 platform with the bottom line of the logistics firms involved, with a focus on the express package industry. The study further investigated whether there were common characteristics of effective advertisements in Web 2.0 environments as rated by viewers, and whether such assessments would hold across cultural and demographic boundaries, given the global nature of Web 2.0 content. It was found that both page hit popularity and respondent agreement on effective advertisement characteristicsrelated positively to sales, with results being consistent cross-culturally. Firms are strongly advised to take note of the massive potential for highly low cost or free advertising such platforms can provide. Conversely, firms must become aware of both the benefits and risks of Web 2.0 environments, including damage caused by potential saboteurs to their brand control and image.
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