Celebrity Transgression and Consumers’ Forgiveness: Does Religiosity Matter?
Shimul, A.S., Barber, M. and Abedin, M.I. (2021), "Celebrity transgression and consumers’ forgiveness: does religiosity matter?", Journal of Islamic Marketing, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIMA-06-2020-0184
27 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2021
Date Written: October 21, 2021
Purpose – This paper examines the role of religiosity on consumers’ forgiveness when celebrities get involved in transgression. The celebrity’s reaction and its impact on consumers’ forgiveness is tested as well. In addition, consumers’ attitudes toward the brand and celebrity as well as purchase intention for the endorsed brand are examined both before and after the transgression.
Design/methodology/approach – Data (n = 356) were collected through a self-administered online survey and analysed though Structural Equation Modelling in AMOS 26.
Findings – The results show that consumers’ attitudes toward celebrity, brand and purchase intention gets weaker once the celebrity gets into transgression. Consumers tend to forgive more if the celebrity apologises (vs. denies) for the wrongdoing. The hypothesised relationship between attitude toward celebrity and purchase intention did not sustain after the transgression. In addition, consumers’ intrinsic religiosity strengthen the relationship between attitude toward the celebrity and purchase intention.
Practical implications – The findings of this research present valuable implications for brands practitioners. Brands should formulate actionable contingency plans to mitigate the negative ramifications of celebrity transgressions. Specifically, intrinsic religiosity and celebrity apologies should assist consumers in forgiving the transgression, and negate the implications that could have arisen if the celebrity instead denied the transgressions.
Originality/ value – This research extends the previous research by examining religiosity and forgiveness within the context of celebrity transgressions. This is one of the first few research to consider the role religiosity plays in consumers’ intention to forgive celebrity transgressions.
Keywords: Religiosity, Apology, Forgiveness, Celebrity transgression, Brand attitude, Advertisement, Muslim consumers.
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