Uh-Oh, This Might Hurt Our Bottom Line: Consumer and Company Reactions to Product Harm Crises

R. Justin Goss, University of Texas at San Antonio, USA
David H. Silvera, University of Texas at San Antonio, USA
Daniel Laufer, Yeshiva University, USA
Kate Gillespie, University of Texas at Austin, USA
Ashley Arsena, University of Texas at San Antonio, USA
We investigated the effects of product harm crisis severity, perceived vulnerability, brand familiarity, and company response on blame. Across three experiments, higher perceived severity was associated with greater personal vulnerability, increased blame to the company, negative brand attitudes, decreased purchase intentions, and negative product recommendations. Further, increased crisis severity negatively impacted an unfamiliar brand but not a familiar brand. Finally, participants attributed more blame to companies that issued apologies, took responsibility, or did nothing, than to companies that blamed the victim.
[ to cite ]:
R. Justin Goss, David H. Silvera, Daniel Laufer, Kate Gillespie, and Ashley Arsena (2011) ,"Uh-Oh, This Might Hurt Our Bottom Line: Consumer and Company Reactions to Product Harm Crises", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 39, eds. Rohini Ahluwalia, Tanya L. Chartrand, and Rebecca K. Ratner, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 831-832.