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Goodbye Britney Spears, Hello Industry Insider
TORONTO, December 12, 2007 - Tennis bombshell Maria Sharapova might be the pretty face behind many of today's digital products, but it's the learned expertise of the local tech geek that's going to influence consumers' decisions as we move into the busy holiday buying season.
Data extracted from the APEX Public Relatio ns Influencer Report conducted by Leger Marketing earlier this year shows that more than 70 per cent of Canadian consumers are influenced by industry experts, making them more influential than journalists and even celebrities. In fact, only four per cent of consumers say they would be swayed by a celebrity's opinion.
Canadians' skepticism of celebrity endorsements cuts across all age groups. Contrary to popular belief, almost 75 per cent of those aged 18 to 24 would not be influenced to buy a product endorsed by a celebrity. This trend increases with age as 93 per cent of those aged over 65 remain unfazed by celebrity whims.
"These findings are vital to determining ways to speak meaningfully to Canadians," said APEX Public Relations president Pat McNamara. "If we want to communicate with the public, we need to understand what influences its decisions and this research provides that insight."
Second to industry expert appeal, journalis t endorsements are also important in consume r purchasing decisions. The report reveals that 40 per cent of Canadians are likely or very likely to be influenced by a journalist's endorsement, with Quebeckers more susceptible to media opinions than consumers in other provinces.
Despite the lack of credibility of celebrities, McNamara believes their involvement in endorsing products will still be sought out.
"Celebrity endorsements originally became influential because they represented an ideal we wanted to achieve ourselves," said McNamara. "While we may not find them credible, we do still live in a celebrity culture and, at a minimum, the use of celebrities attracts attention. After that, it's up to the experts to deliver the information the consumer needs to make a smart purchasing decision."
Customer testimonials are the third most influential factor revealed in the study with 35 per cent of Canadian consumers citing this as a factor that influences their purchasing decisions.
The study was conducted between September 7 and 18, 2007, and surveyed 1,517 adults across Canada. It is considered accurate within +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
About APEX Public Relations
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