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Consumers’ responses to negative publicity: the influence of culture on information search and negative word-of-mouth

  • Mingzhou Yu
  • Fang Liu
  • Julie Anne Lee
Original Article

Abstract

Negative publicity is believed to have detrimental impacts on a brand; however, consumers’ responses to negative publicity may not always be negative, and the responses may vary in different cultural contexts. The current study aims to understand the influence of internalised aspects of culture on Chinese consumers’ responses to negative publicity. Our results suggest that Chinese consumers with higher levels of collectivism and uncertainty avoidance are more likely to search for further information and to spread negative word-of-mouth when confronted with negative publicity, than those with lower levels. Further, consumers with higher levels of power distance are more likely to search for further information when the negative information is severe and to participate in negative word-of-mouth when the negative information is less severe, than those with lower levels of power distance. Finally, when exposed to negative publicity, further information search is positively related and negative word-of-mouth negatively related to brand attitudes and purchase intentions.

Keywords

Negative publicity Culture Information search Negative word-of-mouth Brand attitude Purchasing intention 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.M263, Business SchoolUniversity of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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