Article published in:The Pragmatics of Crisis
Edited by Geert Jacobs and Luuk Van Waes
[Document Design 2:3] 2001
► pp. 258–271
Consumers iews on text characteristics of product recall notices
Consumers who have suffered as a result of a product defect can claim compensation from the producer. By placing a product recall notice, producers can reduce their liability. Ideally, such a notice should protect the image of the company as well as warn consumers. The problem is that a clear warning may damage the image of the company that placed the notice. This study reports on experiments carried out among 128 female shoppers to gain insight into how a recall notice should be worded in order to protect the company’s image and, yet to be clear. Split-run tests were carried out to determine whether Minimisation (minimising the danger of the defect) and Bolstering (stressing the company’s good traits) contributed positively to the image of the company and whether inclusion of pictures, a list format, a reader-oriented approach, Minimisation, and Bolstering contrib- uted positively to the clarity of the notice. Likert scales were used to determine which heading drew most attention and through which channels consumers prefered to be informed about a product recall. According to our respondents, a recall notice including Minimisation strategies protects the company’s image more than one without such strategies. A recall notice is consid- ered clearer when it includes a picture, when it contains elements to highlight the structure of the information, and when it does not include Bolstering. According to our respondents, the most attention-grabbing heading is ‘Waarschuwing’ warning), and they prefer to be informed about product recalls through newspapers and television.
Keywords: recall notices, crisis communication, attention, clarity, image
Published online: 02 November 2001
Cited by 4 other publications
Gurău, Călin & Adriana Serban
Planken, Brigitte, Mariëlle Verwer, Frank Meurs & Arnold Kreps
Planken, Brigitte, Mariëlle Verwer, Frank van Meurs & Arnold Kreps
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