Would you buy a product endorsed by Lance Armstrong?

Oct 22, 2012

It's much easier for consumers to justify continued support of a celebrity or politician disgraced by scandal when they separate moral judgments about a public figure from assessments of their professional performance, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

"Distinguishing between morality and performance allows consumers to avoid condoning . This may be one reason that the around scandals often focuses on the relationship between performance and morality rather than how wrong an action is," write authors Amit Bhattacharjee (Dartmouth College), Jonathan Z. Berman, and Americus Reed II (both Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania).

What do Bill Clinton, Martha Stewart, Tiger Woods, and Roman Polanski have in common? They are all public figures whose reputations have been threatened by scandals attracting relentless media coverage. How do consumers justify buying products endorsed by a celebrity accused of immoral actions or voting for a politician implicated in a scandal?

While some consumers withdraw their support, others may find ways to justify continuing their support either by excusing or justifying the immoral actions in question or separating a judgment of morality about the public figure from an assessment of their performance.

For example, after Tiger Woods admitted to adultery, consumers argued that they don't care for as a person but still think he is the best golfer in the world and thus will continue to purchase his golf clubs. Instead of arguing that an immoral action is not that severe, consumers prefer to argue that it's not that relevant.

"It may feel wrong to say that immoral actions are acceptable. We don't want to be judged negatively by others for justifying . Separating morality from professional standing may be especially appealing, and especially prevalent in public scandals, because it allows us to support an immoral actor without condoning their actions. It's a win-win," the authors conclude.

Explore further: When it comes to underage sex trafficking, pimps may not be the problem

More information: Amit Bhattacharjee, Jonathan Z. Berman, and Americus Reed II. "Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger: How Moral Decoupling Enables Consumers to Admire and Admonish." Journal of Consumer Research: April 2013.

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User comments : 17

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Ophelia
3.8 / 5 (4) Oct 22, 2012
While some consumers withdraw their support, others may find ways to justify continuing their support either by excusing or justifying the immoral actions in question or separating a judgment of morality about the public figure from an assessment of their performance.

Isn't there at least a 3d group? The ones who don't pay any attention to the paid talking heads at all?
freethinking
2.5 / 5 (8) Oct 22, 2012
I'm a member of the third group. If I like a product I use the product.

I wish people remember those that support a product are PAID to like it, are getting MONEY to say they like it.

Deathclock
1.8 / 5 (5) Oct 22, 2012
My decision to buy a product is never informed by which celebrity endorses it... because that would be silly.
chutney
4.3 / 5 (3) Oct 22, 2012
Wow: Bill Clinton and Roman Polanski mentioned in the same sentence. Bill Clinton received a "blow job" from an enthusiastic adult practitioner of the art. Polanski anally raped a thirteen year old girl. Why are you trying to conflate these two things?
BSD
1 / 5 (5) Oct 23, 2012
Endorsed by who?
Lex Talonis
1.6 / 5 (7) Oct 23, 2012
Lance Armstrong? Isn't he and the rest of the cunts, that with the help of his DOCTORS and the money grubbing terds, who run Nike (and ETC.), and who paid to cover up the scams, the one who fucked up the Tour of France etc., for millions?

So everyone watching from now on will be asking "Is this a scam won by more drug cheats?"

Fuck Armstrong and his shit bag cohorts.

Team Postal America - we deliver drug cheats.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Oct 23, 2012
Would you buy a product endorsed by Lance Armstrong?

If I were shopping for steroids: maybe.

Then again: celebrities aren't experts on anything but being celebrities (and their particular special talent - which rather seldom is "knowldge of development, prosuction and quality of product X"). So who cares what a celeb says?

There will always be fanboys/girls who need a leader and they will do whatever the leader says (no matter how insane). For them the moral aspect is pretty much irrelevant.
rfw
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 23, 2012
So athletes will use both legal and illegal doping and drugs. Frankly, SO WHAT? Why not adapt to this reality and divide up the prizes into categories for those that do and those that don't? Let them experiment on themselves, knowing that risks are part of the territory. Gold stars for organic, pure competitors, Gold stars for druggies. Why not?
Lex, obscenities and attitudes won't make the issue go away. A change of attitude and basic assumptions would probably be good for you and all your "friends".

If people are educated about side effects and go on to use said drugs, LET THEM. Their behavior will contribute to a data base on what and what not to do. Just, simply, adjust the awards accordingly. Take the stigma off the issue. Prohibition has never had positive effects on societies that have tried it. Just Say Know!

loneislander
1.7 / 5 (6) Oct 23, 2012
Evil talk from some of you (he's not Berni Madoff, he didn't steal from the ~poor~).

Let's face it, Lance Armstrong was, at some point in the past, in the same place many people find themselves every day and he made the wrong choice (we now know), or did he?

He did not create any part of the market he served and he invented nothing in terms of the science which gave him such an incredible life. At each point in his career he served others to get closer to his goal or he wouldn't be in the position he is. And, given his genetics, our society demanded (through media and influence) that he take a shot at it and that he try hard.

He'll suffer. Those who hate him will be delighted with what's coming. I, on the other hand, would shake his hand and thank him for playing so hard.

He deserves what's coming -- he signed up for it.
Deathclock
1 / 5 (3) Oct 23, 2012
So athletes will use both legal and illegal doping and drugs. Frankly, SO WHAT? Why not adapt to this reality and divide up the prizes into categories for those that do and those that don't? Let them experiment on themselves, knowing that risks are part of the territory. Gold stars for organic, pure competitors, Gold stars for druggies. Why not?
Lex, obscenities and attitudes won't make the issue go away. A change of attitude and basic assumptions would probably be good for you and all your "friends".

If people are educated about side effects and go on to use said drugs, LET THEM. Their behavior will contribute to a data base on what and what not to do. Just, simply, adjust the awards accordingly. Take the stigma off the issue. Prohibition has never had positive effects on societies that have tried it. Just Say Know!


Well said.
Calenur
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 23, 2012
Sooo...is physorg just turning into another standard news site?
loneislander
1 / 5 (1) Oct 25, 2012
Sooo...is physorg just turning into another standard news site?

My bad.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3.7 / 5 (18) Oct 27, 2012
If I were shopping for steroids: maybe.
Well sure. Lance is proof positive that performance-enhancing and life-extending treatments are an unavoidable part of a future extra-human race.
Then again: celebrities aren't experts on anything but being celebrities (and their particular special talent - which rather seldom is "knowldge of development, prosuction and quality of product X"). So who cares what a celeb says?
Lance was a well-paid spokesmodel for the augmentation and enhancement industry. His crack team of dosage pros kept him in the zone for decades, with no detriment to his health. Except for that cancer thing. But hey -they fixed that too didn't they?

With further R&D and rigorous field testing, the industry will mature to the point where our bodies can keep up with our AI implants. Today's dope is tomorrows hope. They give amphetamines to kids for ADHD don't they?

How many rich overachievers are already being prescribed exactly what lance was getting? Hmmm?
Kron
1 / 5 (4) Oct 28, 2012
Most pros today have an undetectable cheat. They use blood transfusions. They have their own blood drawn 4 weeks prior to the race. Their blood level returns to normal. The day before (or day of) the race they inject themselves with the blood they drew increasing their red blood cell number and increasing the ability to carry oxygen (raising their vo2 max).

This is the perfect cheat. No foreign substances (such as EPO) are found in the system. The system is infused with the athletes own blood they donate to themselves.

As for Lance, I would stand behind him whether he cheated or not. 1/3 of his rivals samples (the top 10 finishers), tested positive for EPO, just as his did. The tests could have been tainted after the fact for all I know. His 1999 sample is the one in question. At the time there was no test for EPO. Regardless, can it really be considered an unfair advantage when so many athletes are doing the same? I think not. They should just allow enhancers in sports.
Kron
1 / 5 (3) Oct 28, 2012
When you think about it genetics are also an unfair advantage some athletes have over others. I think sports would be more competitive and interesting if we minimized the differences in ability. If doping was controlled we could bring the vo2 max of all endurance athletes to 100 ml/kg/min. Just imagine the races then.
VendicarD
not rated yet Oct 28, 2012
The question should be formed as follows.

Can a company that uses Lance Armstrong as a spokesperson be trusted not to cheat it's customers as it's spokesperson cheated his sport?

If so then perhaps corporations should also employ child molesters and mass murderers as spokespersons for their products.

Ayn Rand thought that chopping the legs off a 10 year old girl to get better access to her genitals was the act of a "Moral Superman" - Her words.

So who knows...
Husky
5 / 5 (1) Oct 28, 2012
i would certainly buy the Armstrong bike with hidden electro assist.

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