Buy me: the effect of leaders' perceived personality abroad on consumption of their national products

Meital Balmas*, Renana Atia

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A substantial body of research has investigated consumer perceptions of a product based on the country where it originated (CoO). Such judgments have been shown to fluctuate due to a number of factors, among them changes in political conditions. The current research shows that a key factor in CoO-based evaluations of products is the image of respective national leaders. In two experimental studies, conducted in the United States, we found that exposure to a news article that positively (vs. negatively) characterizes a foreign leader led to more positive perceptions of that leader's country; more positive evaluations of products and brands manufactured there; and thereby also to greater willingness to purchase these products. The results amply demonstrate that the news coverage of modern leaders can significantly affect their national trade, and that therefore the responsibility they carry may extend beyond their official role as political figures.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)591-605
Number of pages15
JournalHuman Communication Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of International Communication Association. All rights reserved.


  • country-of-origin
  • evaluations
  • national leaders
  • political personalization
  • products'
  • purchase intentions
  • source cues


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