Research By CUHK Business School Reveals Attractive Sales People May Scare Away Customers

We often assume physical attraction will be an advantage in life. The same assumption goes to attractive sales people that they will be able to increase shoppers’ purchase intention and satisfaction. However, a study by The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School suggests that this may not always be true.

There is a common belief that people have more favorable reactions to physically attractive individuals than to physically unattractive ones. So it is assumed that when we go shopping and see a highly attractive salesperson, we will be more willing to spend time interacting with the salesperson and be more likely to buy the products. Past research on consumer behavior also qualified this assumption, as evidenced by consumers’ greater satisfaction with the service and their intentions to purchase the products being sold.

However, an attractive salesperson may actually keep people from wanting to buy his or her products, and consumers may react more negatively to a highly attractive service provider than to an average looking one, according to a new study1 conducted by Lisa Wan, an assistant professor at the School of Hotel and Tourism Management and Director of Center for Hospitality and Real Estate Research at the CUHK Business School and her colleague, Robert Wyer, a visiting professor from the Department of Marketing in CUHK Business School.

In their published paper titled Consumer Reactions to Attractive Service Providers: Approach or Avoid? The researchers study the consumer reactions to physically attractive and average looking salespeople through a pilot study and five experiments.

Self-presentation Concerns

The study reveals that attractive salespeople can sometimes lead consumers to have self-presentation concerns about their ability to make a good impression on others.

“We predicted that when consumers’ self-presentation concerns are heightened, they often avoid interacting with physically attractive salespeople, hence making it relatively ineffective for the salespeople to sell their products,” says Prof. Wan.

According to Prof. Wan, individuals with high social anxiety have stronger self-presentation concerns than those with low social anxiety. So to an extent, consumers with chronically high social anxiety should react less favorably to attractive than to unattractive salespeople in an actual retail environment.

Pilot Study

The research team found such predictions in a pilot study. The study was conducted at a store in a Hong Kong shopping center that specializes in Japanese figures, models and gifts, a popular palace for Otaku to shop. Originated from Japan, Otaku refers to a group of people who have an obsessive interest in online games and amines, who are socially inept in interpersonal interactions. So these individuals are regarded as those who have high social anxiety and self-presentation concerns.

In the study, two female fellows with different levels of attractiveness – one highly attractive and the other average-looking – were posted as salespersons. The highly attractive female wore makeup to accentuate her attractiveness while the average-looking female did not wear any makeup. Then, two observers were asked to stay in the shopping center to collect the data. They recorded the total number of male consumers who stopped to take a look at the window display; the number of consumers who entered the store and took a look at the products; the number of consumers who interacted with the salesperson; the duration of interaction time between the salesperson and consumer interacted; and the amount of consumers’ purchases.

The results of the study show that fewer male consumers entered the store when the salesperson was the attractive one than when she is the average-looking one. Only 40.8 percent of consumers interacted with the attractive salesperson but 59.2 percent of consumers interacted with the average-looking salesperson. Finally, fewer males made a purchase from the attractive salesperson as compared to the average-looking one, and the average cost of the products they purchased was also less than the latter.

Obviously, the pilot study provides evidence when consumers have chronic social anxiety, they are less willing to interact with a highly attractive service provider, according to Prof. Wan.

“Shoppers’ avoidance of attractive salespersons in the pilot study was a result of their chronic social anxiety and how they presented themselves to these attractive persons,” She says.

Embarrassing and Non-embarrassing Consumption Situations

Apart from high social anxiety, these self-presentation concerns can also be induced by the differences in the consumption situations.

According to the research, the consumption of some products or services such as condoms, medical checkups and weight-loss services can generate embarrassment. These embarrassing consumptions are likely to endanger the positive self-image a person is motivated to convey in social situations, particularly when others are attractive and the ones he or she wants to impress. If this is the case, consumers may wish to avoid interacting with attractive providers in an embarrassing consumption situation.

In one of the experiments, a total of 132 female participants were told that a company wanted to receive feedback about their new product, a thermal waist belt, and the likeliness of the sales representative. Each of the participants was placed in a room where she could touch the waist belt and see some advertising posters about the product. But the posters were manipulated to show the waist belt as an embarrassing or a non-embarrassing product. In the embarrassing condition, the posters indicated that the primary function of the waist belt was to reduce weight. In the non-embarrassing condition, the posters showed the waist belt was intended to relax their muscles, improve circulation, and relieve lower back pain. Continue reading

TELUS International Philippines Holds Its 10th Annual TELUS Days of Giving And Renovates A Public School

Leading outsourcing services provider TELUS International Philippines (TIP) recently held their annual TELUS Days of Giving, in partnership with Hands on Manila for the Department of Education’s Brigada Eskwela program. The event served as a prelude to Brigada Eskwela, a school cleanup program that prepares public school facilities for the coming school year.

TIP returned to Cayetano Arellano High School in Santa Cruz, Manila, a secondary site refurbished by the company in 2014.  This year, 2,300 volunteers repainted classrooms and hallways, repaired chairs, painted wall murals and rehabilitated the garden.  A social enterprise workshop was held, engaging students in an eco-bag painting activity.  Around 100 students partnered with TELUS International team members to design and make the eco-bags as part of Teen Entrepreneurship, a program launched as a volunteer activity in TIP in 2015.  Proceeds from the bags sold after the workshop will be given to the participating students.  An entrepreneurship talk was also conducted at the end of the session.  Continue reading

Bonn Climate Talks Show Progress, But Sense Of Urgency Needed

Climate negotiators ended almost two weeks of discussions in Bonn today, having made solid, if slow, progress in developing rules and tools that will guide implementation of the global climate deal adopted in Paris last year.

Mark Lutes, WWF’s Head of Delegation to the Bonn meeting, said while governments appear committed to making the Paris Agreement operational as soon as possible, the urgency that drove the negotiations in Paris was definitely missing in Bonn.

“News that the world had experienced seven straight months of record-breaking global heat, including reports of an extreme heat-wave in India, underscored the need for urgent action. But it did not affect the rather methodical and almost complacent pace and tone of the proceedings,” said Lutes. Continue reading

Danti and Co.: Cyber Espionage Groups Use A Single Vulnerability To Target Organizations Around The World

Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research and Analysis Team has spent the last few months observing a wave of cyber espionage attacks conducted by different groups across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) and Far East regions, all of which share one common feature: in order to infect their victims with malware, the attackers use an exploit for the CVE-2015-2545 vulnerability.

This weakness in Microsoft Office software was patched at the end of 2015, but still appears to be of use to these threat actors. The Platinum, APT16, EvilPost, and SPIVY groups were already known to use the exploit, and they are now joined by a fairly new and previously unknown group called Danti.

An exploit is a malicious tool widely utilized by cyberespionage groups and cybercriminals to silently infect targeted machines with malware.

Several years ago, the use of so-called zero-day vulnerabilities (those that are used in the wild before the vendor of the affected software releases the patch) was the defining characteristic of sophisticated threat actors, but things have changed: nowadays cyberespionage groups are more likely to use exploits for known vulnerabilities, just because it is cheaper and seems to deliver an acceptable rate of infection.

The CVE-2015-2545 error enables an attacker to execute arbitrary code using a specially crafted EPS image file. The severity of the exploit for this vulnerability is high because it uses PostScript technique and can evade Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) and Data Execution Prevention (DEP) protection methods embedded in Windows. Danti is the latest group to have been spotted using this vulnerability. Continue reading

I Do Wedding Fair 2016 Cutting of Ribbon At Mega Trade Hall, SM Megamall

(From left to right)

Mr. Rudolf Kotik, President of Vanity Association, Ms. Kristle San Pedro, Project Head of I Do Wedding Fair, Ms. Marianne Rodillo, Event Director of I Do Wedding Fair, Ms. Olivia Manapat, Marketing Head of I Do Wedding Fair, Ms. Kannah Simbulan, Proprietress of KNH by Kannah, Ms. Vivian Villegas, Assistant Manager of Studio 1

I Do Wedding Fair 2016 Opens Sucessfully At Megatrade Hall 1

The 2nd I Do Wedding Fair (IDWF), “Your Marketplace for the Best Wedding Deals” organized by Mediacom Solutions, Inc. successfully opened its doors to the public today, May 28 at the Megatrade Hall1 of Megamall in Mandaluyong City. It will run until tomorrow, Sunday from 11am to 8pm.Present at the opening ceremonies and ribbon cutting were Rudolf Kotik, President of Vanity Association, Kristle San Pedro, Project Head of I Do Wedding Fair,  MarianneRodillo, Event Director of I Do Wedding Fair, Olivia Manapat, Marketing Head of I Do Wedding Fair, KannahSimbulan, Proprietress of KNH by Kannah and Vivian Villegas, Assistant Manager of Studio 1.

Aside from a promise of the best deals, this 2-day event features great design ideas, top wedding destinations, modern wedding themes, entertainment performances and much more. Couples also get exclusive discounts and prizes at the fair.

If you are a couple, get the chance to be chosen as “I Do Wedding Fair’s Couple of the Day”. Take your sweetest photo with your partner inside the venue of The I Do Wedding Fair from May 28 and 29 Megatrade Hall 1 and upload it on Facebook from 11am to 4pm. Use the official hashtag #IDWF2016 #CoupleOfTheDay. Tag the official I Do Wedding Fair FB Page www.facebook.com/idoweddingfair and invite and tag a bride/groom to be. Continue reading

Director James Wan Terrifies Audiences Again With “The Conjuring 2”

In 1970, demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren battled a malevolent presence that permeated a remote farmhouse in the US a case brought to the screen in 2013 in Wan’s hugely successful “The Conjuring.” Then came the most highly publicized case of their careers, Amityville, which would nearly destroy them.

This June, writer/director/producer James Wan seeks to terrify moviegoers once again with his depiction of another highly publicized case involving the real-life horrors experienced by paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren with “The Conjuring 2.”

It’s late 1977 when, with the effects of Amityville still haunting them, the Warrens come out of a self-imposed sabbatical and travel to northern London to take on a vile demonic entity that has taken root in the home of the Hodgson family, in the populous borough of Enfield. What is thought by many to be a hoax will become the most documented case in paranormal history.

“Everything Ed and Lorraine have been through since we met them in the first film has been leading up to Enfield,” Wan states. “Out of the repertoire of cases they investigated over their lifetime, Enfield is one of the most compelling…and frightening. It’s also one of the most interesting in that in many ways it is a reflection of the Amityville haunting, so in the film we touch on that as well.” Continue reading

All About Your Pets On Animal Planet

Whether you are a dog lover or a certified cat person, there is one thing all pet owners can agree on: pets are part of the family, and we will do everything to love and care for them. This June, celebrate the universal love we have for the furriest members of our household with Pet Week, which airs from June 6 to 10 on Animal Planet.

We consider these furry companions part of our families, our best friends and confidants, but how much do we really know about the secret lives they lead? In The Secret of Life of Pets, find out that while we think we may know the meaning of each sultry purr or excitable slobber, the reality is that we actually understand very little. Our pets are animals with their own agendas. Once we leave the house, close the cage or turn the lights off and go to bed, our pets continue their remarkable stories away from prying human eyes. This Pet Week special brings you a collection of heart-warming, informative and often hilarious tales that reveal not only the astonishing truth about our pets’ behaviour, but also shed a light on what that behaviour really means. The Secret Life of Pets airs from June 6 to 9, Monday – Thursday, at 8PM. Continue reading

AXN Announces The Amazing Race Asia Season 5 Casting Call Kick Off

The Amazing Race Asia, the world’s most popular adventure reality series, is returning to AXN later this year and this time it’s more adrenaline-fueled than ever before.

In this latest season, 10 teams of socially savvy, fearless warriors from all over Asia will embark on a once-in-a-lifetime experience, traversing the globe and proving their mettle on a quest to be crowned the all-out champion. The highly anticipated series will be hosted by Chinese-American actor and host Allan Wu, who was the face of the race for AXN’s first four seasons. Continue reading

Two Must-See Music Festivals You Wouldn’t Want To Miss this June

As Makati continues to pioneer unique urban experiences and events in town perfect for the young and young-at-heart, Circuit Makati is set to house two of the hottest and biggest music festivals to watch out for this 2016!

Brace yourself for an exhilarating music experience on June 4 for the Music X Festival and on June 18 for the Vibrant Music and Paint Festival, both happening at the Globe Circuit Events Grounds in Makati.

  1. Music X Festival (June 4, 2016)

Highlighting today’s youth, Manila X Festival focuses on three millennial cultures – fashion, music and style- and celebrating each one in this one-of-a-kind gathering. Be part of the revolutionary #ManilaX this June 4 at the Globe Circuit Events Grounds in Circuit Makati.

Shop the latest trends from top fashion brands and party the night away as the best local acts and

hottest DJs collaborate for a music festival you will never forget.

The festival will feature today’s best music acts featuring pop rock princess, Yeng Constantino; Up Dharma Down, Kjwan, Thyro & Yumi, The Juans and Kiana Valenciano. Dance music superstars DJ Ace Ramos, Marc Marasigan, Mars Miranda, Curse & Bless, Tom Taus, Badkiss and Jessica Milner will give beats that will make you groove all night long. Continue reading

Celebrities Lead Run For Scholars At DZMM’s “Takbo Para Sa Pamilyang Pilipino 2016”

ABS-CBN anchors and talents will be giving their full support to help raise funds for the education of calamity victims when they run with the people at DZMM’s “Takbo Para sa Pamilyang Pilipino 2016,” at the Quirino Grandstand this Sunday (May 29), starting 4am.

“It’s Showtime” hosts Karylle Yuzon and rocker husband Yael Yuzon, and Nikki Valdez will lead the celebrities at the 17th edition of the DZMM Takbo, that will also have ABS-CBN Integrated News and Current Affairs head Ging Reyes and broadcast journalist Niña Corpuz run in one of the race categories, which include 3k, 5k, 10k, and 21k.

Co-organized by RunRio, the run is for the benefit of young Filipinos who were affected by typhoons that hit the nation such as Ondoy, Habagat, and Sendong. DZMM believes that every member of the Filipino family is a winner through education. Continue reading