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Complaining to the Masses: The Role of Protest Framing in Customer-Created Complaint Web Sites


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  • James C. Ward
  • Amy L. Ostrom
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    Consumers who once might have voiced their dissatisfaction with a firm to a few friends and acquaintances are now constructing Web sites to tell the world about their dissatisfaction. Protest-framing theory reveals the interlocking rhetorical tactics (injustice, identity, and agency framing) consumers use to mobilize mass audiences against a firm, contributing important insights to our understanding of negative word of mouth. Moreover, an analysis of protest sites reveals that consumers "frame" their corporate betrayal to the public to demonstrate their power to influence others and gain revenge. As a result, a community of discontent may arise in which both individual and social identities appear to be constructed and affirmed. (c) 2006 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.

    Volume (Year): 33 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 2 (07)
    Pages: 220-230

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    Handle: RePEc:ucp:jconrs:v:33:y:2006:i:2:p:220-230

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    Cited by:
    1. Kaplan, Andreas M. & Haenlein, Michael, 2010. "Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 59-68, January.
    2. Kiljae Lee & Won-Yong Oh & Namhyeok Kim, 2013. "Social Media for Socially Responsible Firms: Analysis of Fortune 500’s Twitter Profiles and their CSR/CSIR Ratings," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 118(4), pages 791-806, December.
    3. Luis Fernando Hor-Meyll & Marcelo Barreiros Barreto & Marie Agnes Chauvel & Fábio Francisco de Araujo, 2012. "Why do buyers complain about online purchases?," Brazilian Business Review, Fucape Business School, vol. 9(4), pages 127-150, October.
    4. Ashwani Monga & Haipeng (Allan) Chen & Michael Tsiros & Mona Srivastava, 2012. "How buyers forecast: Buyer–seller relationship as a boundary condition of the impact bias," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 31-45, March.
    5. Grappi, Silvia & Romani, Simona & Bagozzi, Richard P., 2013. "Consumer response to corporate irresponsible behavior: Moral emotions and virtues," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(10), pages 1814-1821.
    6. Kaplan, Andreas M. & Haenlein, Michael, 2011. "The early bird catches the news: Nine things you should know about micro-blogging," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 105-113, March.
    7. Noble, Charles H. & Noble, Stephanie M. & Adjei, Mavis T., 2012. "Let them talk! Managing primary and extended online brand communities for success," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 55(5), pages 475-483.


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