If you are experiencing problems downloading PDF or HTML fulltext, our helpdesk recommend clearing your browser cache and trying again. If you need help in clearing your cache, please click here . Still need help? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
To determine how consumers respond to betrayal of their trust in brands, we surveyed 2156 consumers in nine metropolitan centres in China following the 2008 melamine contamination crisis. Drawing on psychological drivers of scapegoating and attribution theory, we investigate how early
information and the perceived involvement in a multi-brand crisis and attribution factors influence scapegoat effects. The survey results reveal that the first accused brand, Sanlu, took disproportionate blame and was made a scapegoat for an industry-wide crisis. The observer/tension-discharging
perspective, the ‘early information’ effect, and the contrasting roles of manufacturers and non-manufacturer parties in the supply chain in causal attributions have the most significant effect in consumer scapegoating. Study of a highly unfortunate ‘real-life experiment’
shows how a food safety scandal spills over and negatively affects attitudes and beliefs about the whole supply chain and about competing brands.