AMS 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, Inc. (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 the plaintiff more than $19 million.


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