The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Firm Reputation, Advertising Correction, and Consumer Defensiveness

Peter Darke, Florida State University
Laurence Ashworth, Queens University
Robin Ritchie, Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario
Past research shows corrective advertising can undermine other claims about the same product and damage the reputation of the firm. We find corrective advertising is even more problematic, in that it can undermine responses to different products from the same advertiser, as well as products advertised by second-party firms. This occurred regardless of whether the correction came from the company or an industry regulator. A positive reputation insulated firms against these negative effects, but only when that reputation was based on an endorsement from an independent regulator. The findings are consistent with past research showing that false advertising induces defensive processing.
[ to cite ]:
Peter Darke, Laurence Ashworth, and Robin Ritchie (2007) ,"The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Firm Reputation, Advertising Correction, and Consumer Defensiveness", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 34, eds. Gavan Fitzsimons and Vicki Morwitz, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 326-327.