IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Promotions as competitive reactions to recalls and their consequences


  • Chen Zhou

    (University of South Carolina)

  • Shrihari Sridhar

    (Texas A&M University)

  • Rafael Becerril-Arreola

    (University of South Carolina)

  • Tony Haitao Cui

    (University of Minnesota)

  • Yan Dong

    (University of South Carolina)


Firms may profit from responding to competitors’ product recalls, but relatively little is known about the nature and efficacy of these reactions. The authors empirically (1) test the link between a major recall (by Toyota) in the automobile context and competitors’ promotional responses and (2) assess the effectiveness of promotional responses and how it varies across brand tiers. They find that though Toyota recalls induced competitive promotions of approximately $850 on average, the competitive promotional reactions did not significantly affect sales on average. However, the results differ substantially by brand tiers. While 50% of premium brands increased promotions, only 36% of nonpremium brands did so. Among premium brands, 86% benefited from promotional reactions; in contrast, the effects of promotions on sales were nonsignificant or even negative for most nonpremium brands. These findings suggest that well-established results on promotional behaviors and their effectiveness may not hold in the context of recalls.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen Zhou & Shrihari Sridhar & Rafael Becerril-Arreola & Tony Haitao Cui & Yan Dong, 2019. "Promotions as competitive reactions to recalls and their consequences," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Springer, vol. 47(4), pages 702-722, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joamsc:v:47:y:2019:i:4:d:10.1007_s11747-018-0611-8
    DOI: 10.1007/s11747-018-0611-8

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    File URL:
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Olivier Rubel & Prasad A. Naik & Shuba Srinivasan, 2011. "Optimal Advertising When Envisioning a Product-Harm Crisis," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(6), pages 1048-1065, November.
    2. K. Sudhir & Vrinda Kadiyali & Vithala R. Rao, 2001. "Structural Analysis of Manufacturer Pricing in the Presence of a Strategic Retailer," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm229, Yale School of Management.
    3. Cleeren, K. & Dekimpe, M.G. & Helsen, K., 2008. "Weathering product-harm crises," Other publications TiSEM 283b51f8-dd35-4a10-930a-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    4. Avi Goldfarb & Qiang Lu & Sridhar Moorthy, 2009. "Measuring Brand Value in an Equilibrium Framework," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(1), pages 69-86, 01-02.
    5. Paulo Albuquerque & Bart J. Bronnenberg, 2012. "Measuring the Impact of Negative Demand Shocks on Car Dealer Networks," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 31(1), pages 4-23, January.
    6. Greg M. Allenby & Peter E. Rossi, 1991. "Quality Perceptions and Asymmetric Switching Between Brands," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 10(3), pages 185-204.
    7. Kevin B. Hendricks & Vinod R. Singhal, 2001. "The Long-Run Stock Price Performance of Firms with Effective TQM Programs," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(3), pages 359-368, March.
    8. Thomas Marsh & Ted Schroeder & James Mintert, 2004. "Impacts of meat product recalls on consumer demand in the USA," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(9), pages 897-909.
    9. Jonah Berger & Alan T. Sorensen & Scott J. Rasmussen, 2010. "Positive Effects of Negative Publicity: When Negative Reviews Increase Sales," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(5), pages 815-827, 09-10.
    10. Seth Freedman & Melissa Kearney & Mara Lederman, 2012. "Product Recalls, Imperfect Information, and Spillover Effects: Lessons from the Consumer Response to the 2007 Toy Recalls," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(2), pages 499-516, May.
    11. Meghan Busse & Jorge Silva-Risso & Florian Zettelmeyer, 2006. "$1,000 Cash Back: The Pass-Through of Auto Manufacturer Promotions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1253-1270, September.
    12. Itamar Simonson & Ziv Carmon & Suzanne O'Curry, 1994. "Experimental Evidence on the Negative Effect of Product Features and Sales Promotions on Brand Choice," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 13(1), pages 23-40.
    13. Yamawaki, Hideki, 2002. "Price reactions to new competition: A study of US luxury car market, 1986-1997," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 19-39, January.
    14. Prasad A. Naik & Kalyan Raman & Russell S. Winer, 2005. "Planning Marketing-Mix Strategies in the Presence of Interaction Effects," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(1), pages 25-34, June.
    15. Zou, Peng & Li, Guofeng, 2016. "How emerging market investors' value competitors' customer equity: Brand crisis spillover in China," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(9), pages 3765-3771.
    16. Robert C. Blattberg & Kenneth J. Wisniewski, 1989. "Price-Induced Patterns of Competition," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 8(4), pages 291-309.
    17. Mooweon Rhee & Pamela R. Haunschild, 2006. "The Liability of Good Reputation: A Study of Product Recalls in the U.S. Automobile Industry," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 17(1), pages 101-117, February.
    18. Peter M. Guadagni & John D. C. Little, 1983. "A Logit Model of Brand Choice Calibrated on Scanner Data," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 2(3), pages 203-238.
    19. Sriram Thirumalai & Kingshuk K. Sinha, 2011. "Product Recalls in the Medical Device Industry: An Empirical Exploration of the Sources and Financial Consequences," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(2), pages 376-392, February.
    20. K. Sudhir, 2001. "Structural Analysis of Manufacturer Pricing in the Presence of a Strategic Retailer," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(3), pages 244-264, October.
    21. Prasad A. Naik & Ashutosh Prasad & Suresh P. Sethi, 2008. "Building Brand Awareness in Dynamic Oligopoly Markets," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 54(1), pages 129-138, January.
    22. Harald Van Heerde & Kristiaan Helsen & Marnik G. Dekimpe, 2007. "The Impact of a Product-Harm Crisis on Marketing Effectiveness," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(2), pages 230-245, 03-04.
    23. Laufer, Daniel & Coombs, W. Timothy, 2006. "How should a company respond to a product harm crisis? The role of corporate reputation and consumer-based cues," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 49(5), pages 379-385.
    24. S. Sriram & Manohar U. Kalwani, 2007. "Optimal Advertising and Promotion Budgets in Dynamic Markets with Brand Equity as a Mediating Variable," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(1), pages 46-60, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Yan Liu & Venkatesh Shankar, 2015. "The Dynamic Impact of Product-Harm Crises on Brand Preference and Advertising Effectiveness: An Empirical Analysis of the Automobile Industry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 61(10), pages 2514-2535, October.
    2. Kathleen Cleeren & Marnik G. Dekimpe & Harald J. Heerde, 2017. "Marketing research on product-harm crises: a review, managerial implications, and an agenda for future research," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Springer, vol. 45(5), pages 593-615, September.
    3. Chan, Tat Y. & Narasimhan, Chakravarthi & Yoon, Yeujun, 2017. "Advertising and price competition in a manufacturer-retailer channel," International Journal of Research in Marketing, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 694-716.
    4. Olivier Rubel & Prasad A. Naik & Shuba Srinivasan, 2011. "Optimal Advertising When Envisioning a Product-Harm Crisis," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(6), pages 1048-1065, November.
    5. Hsu, Liwu & Lawrence, Benjamin, 2016. "The role of social media and brand equity during a product recall crisis: A shareholder value perspective," International Journal of Research in Marketing, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 59-77.
    6. Gensler, Sonja & Völckner, Franziska & Liu-Thompkins, Yuping & Wiertz, Caroline, 2013. "Managing Brands in the Social Media Environment," Journal of Interactive Marketing, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 242-256.
    7. Ron N. Borkovsky & Avi Goldfarb & Avery M. Haviv & Sridhar Moorthy, 2017. "Measuring and Understanding Brand Value in a Dynamic Model of Brand Management," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(4), pages 471-499, July.
    8. Mansur Khamitov & Yany Grégoire & Anshu Suri, 2020. "A systematic review of brand transgression, service failure recovery and product-harm crisis: integration and guiding insights," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 519-542, May.
    9. Mukherjee, Arka & Chauhan, Satyaveer S., 2021. "The impact of product recall on advertising decisions and firm profit while envisioning crisis or being hazard myopic," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 288(3), pages 953-970.
    10. Byun, Kyung-Ah (Kay) & Duhan, Dale F. & Dass, Mayukh, 2020. "The preservation of loyalty halo effects: An investigation of the post-product-recall behavior of loyal customers," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 163-175.
    11. Enis Yakut & Ayse Gul Bayraktaroglu, 2021. "Consumer reactions to product recalls: the effects of intentionality, reputation, and public apology on purchase intentions," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 91(4), pages 527-564, May.
    12. O. Cem Ozturk & Sriram Venkataraman & Pradeep K. Chintagunta, 2016. "Price Reactions to Rivals’ Local Channel Exits," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(4), pages 588-604, July.
    13. Amélie Guèvremont & Bianca Grohmann, 2018. "Does brand authenticity alleviate the effect of brand scandals?," Journal of Brand Management, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 25(4), pages 322-336, July.
    14. Isaac M Dinner & Tarun Kushwaha & Jan-Benedict E M Steenkamp, 2019. "Psychic distance and performance of MNCs during marketing crises," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 50(3), pages 339-364, April.
    15. Geoffrey Pofahl, 2009. "Merger Simulation in the Presence of Large Choice Sets and Consumer Stockpiling: The Case of the Bottled Juice Industry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 34(3), pages 245-266, May.
    16. Karray, Salma, 2015. "Cooperative promotions in the distribution channel," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 49-58.
    17. Zavala, Araceli & Ramirez-Marquez, Jose Emmanuel, 2019. "Visual analytics for identifying product disruptions and effects via social media," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 208(C), pages 544-559.
    18. Ram Bala & Pradeep Bhardwaj & Pradeep K. Chintagunta, 2017. "Pharmaceutical Product Recalls: Category Effects and Competitor Response," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(6), pages 931-943, November.
    19. Rutger van Oest & Philip Hans Franses, 2003. "Which Brands gain Share from which Brands? Inference from Store-Level Scanner Data," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-079/4, Tinbergen Institute.
    20. Shafu Zhang & Like Jiang & Michel Magnan & Lixin Nancy Su, 2021. "Dealing with Ethical Dilemmas: A Look at Financial Reporting by Firms Facing Product Harm Crises," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 170(3), pages 497-518, May.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:joamsc:v:47:y:2019:i:4:d:10.1007_s11747-018-0611-8. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Sonal Shukla or Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.