Taming the blame game: using promotion programs to counter product-harm crises

Yi Xie, Hean Tat Keh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


The present research examines how different kinds of promotion programs (i.e., price discount versus donation promotion) buffer brands from the ill effects of product-harm crises. Drawing on attribution theory, the authors investigate the differential effects of promotion programs on consumer responses following ambiguous product-harm crises. These effects are moderated by promotion depth (i.e., the monetary value of a promotion) and brand reputation. Results show that for low-depth promotions, donation is more effective than price discount when the product-harm crisis involves moderately reputable brands. Importantly, the authors identify blame attribution as the mediating mechanism accounting for the interaction effects. When the locus of causality is external to the focal brand, the interaction effects of promotion programs and brand reputation disappear.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211 - 226
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Advertising
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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