Publicity is defined as “nonpaid news or editorial comment about ideas, products, services, or stores,” according to the textbook. Because it is the public view towards an object, it is not controllable, but powerful to affect the image of the object. In my point of view, negative publicity does have an impact on the purchasing habits of customers in the retail industry.
There are four disadvantages of the impact of negative publicity based on the article, “The Disadvantages of Bad Publicity.” They are loss of trust, effects on sales, damage brand equity, and damage brand association. All of the disadvantages described relate directly to daily operating activities – what consumers think about the brand and if they would change their purchasing habits due to the negative publicity.
Since publicity would influence company image, consumers would be hesitating or even decide not to buy the company’s products or services due to negative publicity. There is an example that perfect shows the immediate reaction taken by consumers due to a scandal of a retailer. A very recent news about how the United Airlines dealt with its passenger in an overbooked flight has grabbed public attention nationwide and also worldwide. The situation was not handled ethically and properly, which disappointed a large amount of people. Some people photoshopped pictures depicting their disagreement and ager while some consumers voluntarily chose not to take the United Airlines any more. There was one consumer cut off his United Card and posted on social media stating that he refused to fly with the United Airlines in the future any more. It is a good example of how negative publicity would affect the purchasing habits of customers of an airline company.
Therefore, I believe that negative publicity does affect a retailer, especially its consumers in terms of purchasing habits.