Document Type

Peer Reviewed/Refereed Publication

Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Marketing Communications


Management, Marketing and Business Administration


Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business


Many online retailers and some manufacturers/service providers have recently been engaging in questionable practices, where product reviews are often fabricated and/or posted without sufficient clarity and objectivity. Across an exploratory study and two main studies, we empirically examine this phenomenon and observe a pattern of effects that suggests that review valence (i.e., the average number of rating-stars a product receives) influences product attitudes and intentions, but that these outcomes are significantly impacted by the extent to which consumers are aware of potentially deceptive online review practices. Awareness of deceptive practices was found to differentially influence attitudes and intentions, depending upon whether the star-ratings were perfect (5/5 stars), highly positive (4.9/5 stars), or generally positive (4.5/5 or 4.7/5 stars). Participants’ perceptions of the e-retailer’s manipulative intent were also shown to mediate these effects, with higher perceptions of perceived manipulative intent yielding less favorable product attitudes and reduced purchase intentions.

Included in

Marketing Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.