Rumours. False rumours and slander about products and brands (1994)



Many consumer products that have been successful on the market for a long time, but also many new products that are rapidly gaining broad consensus among consumers, are often the victims of defamatory and damaging rumours aimed at denigrating them, presenting them as dangerous to health and physical integrity, or as repulsive because of specific secret components or manufacturing procedures, or, even in contrast with the moral, religious and civil principles of the community. These particular forms of urban myths are sometimes created and spread by companies that produce competing goods. However, on many other occasions, they are linked to the sudden emergence of the layer of fears and anxieties that accompany the condition of individuals living in industrial and/or post-industrial society and the more or less latent prejudices and conflicts between consumers and producers. On many occasions, the damage caused by rumours to businesses has generally always been high and has required particularly costly economic efforts and transformation of the company’s image or products.


Rumours are news
Negative rumours about consumer products
Rumours as offensive tools for a competitive market with no holds barred

Summary Document

How and to what extent conveying false information can affect product image

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