The Gist: The majority of US adults 18 and older have stopped buying a product after they didn’t like the brand’s ad campaign.

A bad advertising campaign has always been the source of good fodder. Pepsi and Kendall Jenner’s politically conscious snafu kept late night TV hosts up to their ears in soft drink-centered jokes.

Similar to the recently buzzy phenomenon of boycotting, it seems that bad ad campaigns might not only turn off potential customers but will lead to a loss of current fans. 


23% of people stop buying products from a brand after they disagree with an ad campaign.

60% of US Adults 18 and older have currently or in the past stopped purchasing from a brand because they disliked its ad campaign.

Brands Losing Fans

People who are currently abstaining from a brand based on one of its ad campaigns are a specific set of shoppers. They are more likely to showroom across sites or visit a store then buy an item online. These customers are price conscious of products across many industries, including food, beauty, and technology. In addition, they research items online before they buy them.

Certainly, this group of buyers is particularly fickle with brands and their campaigns. Brands don’t seem to matter as much as value and word of mouth. It’s not a stretch to say this group isn’t full of diehard fans for brands, telling a similar story of Millennial brand loyalty.

Brands that Have Lost Fans

Another 27% of US Adults have previously stopped buying from a brand because of an ad campaign. This group, while having similar tendencies to the former, displays some different behaviors. This group cares deeply for ecology and is more willing to recycle, change their lifestyles to suit the environment and buy environmentally friendly products.

A reason as to why these shoppers may have stopped buying a brand ties to social consciousness. These consumers are more likely to favor socially conscious businesses, a trend we’re already well familiar with tracking. It could be speculated that these shoppers have turned away from a brand because it stepped away from a socially conscious message.

Brands are losing loyal fans for a myriad of reasons, but what’s most worth noting is the degree to which they do it. So often we consider ad campaigns to be a means to find new fans, but brands shouldn’t forget that they could easily lose already loyal customers with a jarring message.