Kopparberg's GB News row hits customer perceptions

Stephan ShakespeareCEO and Co-Founder
July 02, 2021, 5:30 PM UTC

Some advertisers recently announced plans to stop advertising on GB News, citing concerns over the media startup’s content. Andrew Neil, the channel’s co-founder and Chairman, issued a robust response, suggesting that there would be reprisals for brands who got on the wrong side of its audience.

Looking at Kopparberg, the cider manufacturer that was among the initial wave of boycotters, shows that Neil’s argument might carry some weight. After tweeting that it would be suspending ads from GB News, Impression scores (a measure of whether the public feel positively or negatively about a brand) saw an initial decline from 18.1 to 11.3 (-6.8). between June 14 and 19 – but by June 24, they had rebounded to 16.8. Satisfaction scores, which measure whether consumers are a satisfied or dissatisfied customer of a particular brand, also fell from 22 to 10.9 (-11.1) between June 14 and 18, recovering to 16.8 by June 24.

More concerningly for Kopparberg, Reputation scores (which measure whether a consumer would be proud or ashamed to work for a particular brand) went from 16.1 to 10.1 over June 14 – 24 (-6.0), and Recommendations saw a similar deterioration, going from 19 to 13.5 in the same period (-5.5).

Along more commercial lines, Value for Money scores took a hit too, falling from 10.1 to 2.7 between June 14 and 24 (-7.4). So did Consideration, which tracks whether consumers would contemplate buying a particular alcohol brand the next time they intend to purchase booze: it declined from 22.5 to 14.5 (-8), though it has since seen slight improvement , reaching 17.2 by June 25.

Kopparberg’s overall brand health also appears to have suffered: Index scores, which average performance across the Impression, Quality, Value, Satisfaction, Recommend, and Reputation metrics, fell from 17.4 to 13.0 (-4.4).

Beyond the question of whether advertising on GB News is the right or wrong thing to do, brands might avoid it for other reasons: evidence suggests that the fledgling channel is underperforming its rivals in key timeslots. Nevertheless, Andrew Neil has a history of bruising encounters with figures as diverse as Ben Shapiro, Jeremy Corbyn, and Rishi Sunak; judging from our data, Kopparberg may wish to take a leaf out of the Prime Minister’s book and avoid future conflicts entirely. 


This article was originally published in City A.M.