Boycott challenge

The theory that boycotts don't work because consumers aren't willing to sacrifice their preferred products or because they believe their small actions won't make a difference is challenged by this study of the American boycott of French wine over France's opposition to the Iraq war.

by StanfordKnowledgebase
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

Said to be the first boycott research to look at actual sales data rather than, for example, share prices, it finds a drop of as much as 26% in French wine sales at the peak of this buying strike, with an overall sales reduction of $112 million.

The significance of the impact - 13% of total sales over the six-month period the boycott lasted - should serve as a general warning that boycotts can really hurt. In this example, the cheapest and most expensive wines saw the biggest drops.

However, the research refuted the idea that media support for the wine boycott significantly affected consumer participation.

Consumer boycotts work - just ask French winemakers
Larry Chavis and Phillip Leslie
StanfordKnowledgebase, April 2006

Review by Steve Lodge.

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