Whether they buy a product is influenced by reviews by celebrities, said well over half of Thai people interviewed as part of a NIDA survey published on Sunday.
And almost half of respondents suggested the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to inspect products both before and after it obtains their hallmark.
Nearly 66 per cent of members of the public interviewed by NIDA said celebrity product reviews play an important role in their purchasing decision.
People’s confidence in the FDA hallmark was the focus of the nationwide phone poll of 1,251 respondents aged over 18, conducted May 21-22 by the Bangkok-based National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA).
It found that most people (71.78 per cent) said they looked for the FDA hallmark on a product for safety reassurance, while 27.98 did not and another 0.24 per cent said they were unsure.
A crackdown by police and the FDA over products using the FDA hallmark meant for other goods or fake FDA hallmarks has recently made the news. Still, over 56 per cent of respondents said they still have faith in the FDA, as it was a credible and long-established agency to ensure safety standard in products. Some said the problem was caused by business operators and not by the FDA. However over 42 per cent said their confidence in the FDA had been affected because it meant the agency didn't strictly inspect goods, while under 2 per cent of respondents said they were unsure.
Asked if product reviews by celebrities had helped boost credibility of products and convince them to buy, nearly 66 per cent admitted they had, because the celebrities were accepted by Thai society and they had helped make the products better known and appear more attractive. However, nearly 33 per cent said otherwise, citing that their decision to buy a product hinged on quality, price, personal satisfaction and need. Some of this group also said they looked for the FDA hallmark when shopping.
The respondents were also asked how the rights of consumers should be protected, by choosing one or more from a list of proposed solutions. The most-endorsed solution – by over 54 per cent of respondents – would increase FDA measures to inspect products both before and after it obtained the FDA hallmark.
Next most popular, at just over 34 per cent, was harsher punishment for regulation violators, followed by the establishment of more state agencies to oversee consumer protection work at just under 34 per cent). Strictly controlling advertisements, especially those using celebrities, so they do not exaggerate earned just over 32 per cent of votes, with the suggestion of increasing inspectors to check on product standards was chosen by just over 27 per cent.