與廠商主動刊登在大眾傳播媒體的商業廣告相比，產品瑕疵謠言可以算是一種流傳在消費者間的負面訊息，或者根本可以說是負面的廣告，而電子佈告欄允許發訊者匿名發訊的特性，使得各種未經證實的謠言經常出現，而其類似人際溝通，使得謠言易被相信，其所具備向不特定人傳播的能力，訊息的流傳廣度又較傳統口語謠言為廣，而成為謠言流傳的溫床。本研究以電子佈告欄內流傳之某謠言為例，探討消費者對該則謠言內容或訊息來源的相信程度，藉以探索謠言流傳的廣度，以及對於消費者態度的影響。本研究採取縱斷面研究的方式進行，在謠言發生的一個月後，以問卷方式進行調查，以瞭解此謠言擴散的廣度、消費者對於此則謠言的態度、以及對於被謠言波及之產品的態度。並於謠言發生半年後，此一謠言逐漸被淡忘之際，以類似之問卷，針對類似於第一次問卷調查對象的受訪者進行問卷調查，了解有多少比例的消費者仍記得此謠言，以及消費者對此產品的態度是否隨著謠言的淡忘而改變。由實證結果發現，產品瑕疵謠言對於消費者的態度確有影響，部分消費者對於謠言的真實性存疑，但仍改變對於產品的態度，此為廠商必須注意的。本研究亦發現，消費者對於謠言的態度，與謠言內容的合理性有很大的關係，而客觀中立者的闢謠，對於澄清謠言有相當的效果，被謠言指涉的當事廠商的澄清，則較不具說服消費者的能力。電子佈告欄匿名的特性，確實非常容易成為謠言流傳的管道，而謠言無時無刻不在，流傳過程中卻又無充分記錄的特性，相當難以進行研究，以致於此一領域甚少被提出來進行研究。但由本研究的初步探討得知，謠言對於企業的傷害不可謂之不大，即令不相信謠言者，仍可能在寧可信其有的心態下，改變購買行為，因此企業必須重視謠言的影響。這也意謂相關研究雖不易進行，但確實有深入研究的必要。 Compare with commercial advertises on mass media, product rumors could be counted on as the negative advertises among the consumers. The characteristics of allowing anonymous users of BBS (Bulletin Broad System) on Internet make an environment that rumor, not confirm message, appearing once and once again. The communication within BBS is similar with person-to-person oral communication in some way. It makes the rumors be believed easy. Not only having person-to-person communication characteristic, the communication within BBS has the ability in diffusing the messages to the unspecified public. This makes BBS be a media full of rumors. A real case of rumor had been used as an example to discuss the source credibility and the consumers' attitude to the content of the rumor. Longitudinal data collect were adopt for the study. Two questionnaires survey were managed on just one month after the rumor appearing and a half of year later to know the consumers' attitude to the rumors. After the empirical study, we find that product rumor would influence the consumers' attitude as we expected. Although having question on whether the rumor was true or not, some subjects on the study still changed their attitude on the product. It's worth for the firms to keep sight on this. It was also found that the consumers' attitude to the rumor is depended largely on whether the rumors sound reasonable. Refuting rumors by objective professional persons had significant effect, but the clarity made by the firm didn't work well enough. It's difficult to do empirical research about rumors. But it's an important issue needed to explore, especially for rumors on BBS. From the results of this empirical study, we found that people would change the behavior even if the do not believe the rumor. Managers should remember this when they have to face the rumors that may hurt their companies.
廣告學研究, 16, 31-54 The Journal of Advertising & Public Relations