Celebrity Endorsements Don't Sell Products

Celebrity endorsements don't work, according to a heartwarming study. In fact, they came second last on the list of "very important" information channels that consumers used to judge products. In a new report by AccountAbility, a non-profit research institute, 10% picked celebrities' opinions as important in helping them decide if companies were trustworthy--the only category to do worse was leaflets through the mailbox. Unfortunately, NGO's and campaign groups were third to last. What consumers do rely on is information on the package, views of consumer groups, and friends and family. People also depend on websites and blogs to judge information, because they consider the motivation of those behind the claims. Formal certifications such as Fairtrade played an important role, but were not sufficient alone. Whilst "businesses are now recognising that social and environmental concerns are becoming mainstream", the report noted that companies like McDonald's and Nike haven't been able to turn this into a business opportunity because the public doesn't believe that their efforts are sincere. The popularity and strength of ethical consumerism is growing; however, there is still a gap between concern and action. There has not been a substantial decline in mainstream purchasing in areas such as long-haul flights, sale of 4X4's and disposable fashion. :: AccountAbility via :: Financial Times

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