Recall Communication & Brand Image

The Impact of Product Recall Communication on Brand Image, Brand Attitude and Perceived Product Quality

Raoul V. Kübler & Sönke Albers

Working Paper (available on SSRN here)


The number of product recalls has considerably increased during the last decade resulting in escalating costs for the public and companies likewise. Companies are confronted not only with severe consequences of their short-term performance (e.g. sales) but also of long-term marketing metrics such as consumer’s brand image, brand attitude and perceived quality. Therefore, companies need to know how they should design their recall communication to minimize negative impact. Using data of 450 consumers’ reactions to 16 different and major German product recalls, the authors investigate the impact of recall communication characteristics like transparency and social responsibility on customers’ brand evaluation. They further measure how the particular degree of hazard and its probability of a product failure moderate the impact of the chosen communication strategy. The findings provide companies with recommendations how to design their recall messages depending on the context of the recall necessity.

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