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When celebrity spokespeople have a public scandal, it generally does not have a major impact on the brands they endorse, according to a recent Adweek Media/Harris Poll.

Three in Four Americans Don’t Care
Three-quarters of Americans (74%) say when a celebrity endorser gets involved in a scandal, it doesn’t impact the way they feel about the brand or brands they endorse. Just more than one in five (22%) say they feel worse about the endorsed brands and 5% say they feel better about them.

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Age, Gender Makes a Difference
There is an age difference when it comes to attitude towards the endorsed brands after a scandal. Eight in ten (81%) Americans aged 55 and older, as well as 77% of those 35-44, say the scandal has no impact on how they feel about the brand. Those 45-54 are most likely to have a negative feeling as 28% of them say they feel worse about the brand.

Those 18-34, however, are most likely to think positively about it, as 11% say they feel better about an endorsed brand after a celebrity gets involved in a scandal. Less than 0.5% of respondents ages 55 and up say they feel better about an endorsed brand following a celebrity scandal.

In addition, men are twice as likely as women (6% compared to 3%) to feel better about a brand after a celebrity endorser has a scandal.

Midwesterners Most Impacted
There are also some regional differences in attitudes towards brands after a celebrity gets caught doing something wrong. Those in the Midwest are most likely to have a negative attitude. More than one-quarter of Midwesterners (26%) say they would feel worse about the brand a celebrity endorses, compared to 19% of those who live in the East. Midwesterners also had the lowest percentage of positive brand responses to a celebrity scandal (3%), while Easterners had the highest (7%).

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Distasteful Ads Hurt Brand Appeal
More than one-third of Americans will not purchase a brand because of distasteful advertising, according to another recent Adweek Media/Harris Poll.

Thirty-five percent of respondents said they have chosen not to purchase a certain brand because they found the advertisements distasteful. Another 22% said they have not done so but have thought about doing it, and 43% said they have never done so. In addition, 28% of respondents said they have chosen not to purchase a brand because they didn’t like the spokesperson being used, with 22% having thought of doing so and 50% having never done so.

About the Data: Harris Interactive surveyed 2,140 U.S. adults online between April 23 and 27, 2010. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Where appropriate, this data were also weighted to reflect the composition of the adult online population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

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