Protests going unnoticed

April 06, 2011, 6:26 PM GMT+0

Sometimes no change at all can be as interesting as dramatic movements and that is certainly the case when we look at brands that have been targeted by UK Uncut over the past five months.

The protest movement has attempted to shame brands that it claims have dodged UK taxes. A series of actions began on 27th October last year when Vodafone’s Oxford Street store was closed by protesters. Similar shut-downs have occurred across the country since then, and following The March for the Alternative on Saturday 26th March, a number of stores including Topshop and Boots on Oxford Street, were closed, while Fortnum and Mason was occupied.

But the net result of this action on consumer perception has been zero, according to BrandIndex, which uses various indicators to judge public perception towards given brands. If we look at five of the key brands targeted; Vodafone, Boots, Tesco and the Arcadia Group’s BHS and Topshop there has been no real movement in their corporate reputation score since the protests started, with the combined score of the five being +77 back on 24th October, and a near identical +78 the Monday just gone.

So UK Uncut has either failed to interest people in its campaign, or has managed to interest them but not moved their views of the targeted companies in one way or another. The brands' attention scores, which measure whether people have heard anything at all about a given brand, show that their problem is the former.

Once again we see that there has been no significant change in the number of people hearing anything (either positive or negative) about the brands.

We can conclude that the actions of UK Uncut are going largely unnoticed (at least in terms of the specific brands it targets) and therefore cannot impact on the general populations’ views.

Brand attention scores from BrandIndex

Brand reputation scores from BrandIndex

Go to BrandIndex

A version of this article also appears in City AM