Airing Dirty Laundry in the Public Square: an Examination of Public Complaining

“Customer created complaining websites” (CCCW’s) are a potentially serious threat to brands. At least 50% of Fortune 1,000 companies have been targeted by CCCW’s. Extant studies provide useful descriptions, but surprisingly, related empirical research does not exist. This paper attempts to fill this gap by empirically investigating effects on consumers’ behavioral intentions, and the potential protection of strong branding. Results indicate a significant interaction between exposure to CCCW and strong branding, suggesting that CCCW’s reduce consumer perceptions, but strong brands offer some protection. Consistent with reactance theory, if the targeted brand is among a consumer’s favorites, perceptions are ironically increased.


Andrew Wilson, Michael Giebelhausen, and Michael Brady (2008) ,"Airing Dirty Laundry in the Public Square: an Examination of Public Complaining", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 1019-1021.


Andrew Wilson, Florida State University
Michael Giebelhausen, Florida State University
Michael Brady, Florida State University


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35 | 2008

Share Proceeding

Featured papers

See More


When Too much “I” is Bad for “Us”: The Detrimental Effect of Selfie on Self -Brand Connection.

MEHAK BHARTI, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Sharon Ng, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Read More


Divorcing the Market

Deniz Atik, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, USA
A. Fuat Fırat, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, USA
Ebru Uzunoğlu, Izmir University of Economics

Read More


Can Making Family Salient Improve Retirement Contributions? Evidence from Field Experiments in Mexico

Avni Shah, University of Toronto, Canada
Matthew Osborne, University of Toronto, Canada
Jaclyn Lefkowitz, IDEAS42
Andrew Fertig, IDEAS42
Dilip Soman, University of Toronto, Canada
Nina Mazar, Boston University, USA

Read More

Engage with Us

Becoming an Association for Consumer Research member is simple. Membership in ACR is relatively inexpensive, but brings significant benefits to its members.