For Better, for Worse? What to Do when Celebrity Endorsements Go Bad

François A. Carrillat, Alain d’Astous and Josianne Lazure

HEC Montréal

Management slant

  • Attitude toward the brand's products is more positive and purchase intentions are higher when the athlete admits rather than denies a positive doping test result.
  • The decision to revoke or maintain a relationship with a sports celebrity depends on the logical connection between the endorser and the brand.
  • If an athlete endorses a brand logically connected to his or her athletic endeavors, maintaining the association is the best decision with respect to brand attitude and purchase intentions.
  • When there is no such connection, maintaining or revoking the relationship appear to be equivalent options for the brand.