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Survey measuring impact of rumors on sales helps client win $19 million judgement
In this case, a multinational consumer products company alleged that a large direct sales concern was disseminating false information about the company’s ties to the occult. According to the rumor, the company’s president had publicly stated that the company gave a portion of its profits to a satanic organization. The defendant allegedly circulated this rumor through both its company voicemail system and its distributor network. Applied Marketing Science (AMS) supported the plaintiff’s expert in developing and implementing a survey to assess consumers’ awareness of and reactions to this rumor, including whether they would have changed their purchase decisions as a result. The research showed that consumers were in fact highly sensitive to the rumor and that it was likely to affect their purchasing behavior. A jury agreed, awarding our client more than $19 million.