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Consumers’ Reactions to a Celebrity Endorser Scandal


Correspondence regarding this article should be sent to: Candy P. S. Fong, Faculty of Business Administration, University of Macau, Av. Padre Tomas Pereira, Taipa, Macau, China (


This research examined the impact of a widely publicized celebrity scandal on consumers’ attitudes toward the involved celebrities and the products they endorsed. Special attention is placed on the interplay between consumers’ perceptions of the celebrities’ responsibilities for the events that occurred, their affective reactions to both the events and the celebrities, and their consequent reactions to the products that the celebrities endorsed. The use of a real celebrity scandal permitted the effects of several variables to be identified that are normally not taken into account, including individuals’ a priori liking for the celebrities, perceptions of the scandal's impact on both the involved celebrities and the society, individuals’ own involvement in scandal-related activities. These and other effects were evaluated using structural equation modeling. Two parallel analyses, one for each celebrity, fit the model well and provided insight into the processes that potentially mediate the effects of a celebrity scandal on product evaluations.