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14 Oct 2010

Waitrose flying high as Virgin Atlantic’s online reputation continues to slide

Airlines and mobile operators suffer amid customer service issues in Kaizo Advocacy Index

New research released today shows that some of the UK’s leading brands are experiencing serious online reputation management issues. The Kaizo Advocacy Index, a bi-annual audit of online reputation, has analysed digital news and social media outlets to rank UK household names including supermarkets, airlines, breakfast cereals and mobile operators.

In the latest report, Waitrose comes out on top as price offers and enticing promotions were shared by consumers across the internet. Elsewhere however, the airlines all suffered, as Virgin Atlantic saw its score fall for the third report in a row as customer service issues led to consumers venting their frustrations online.

Rhodri Harries, Managing Director of Kaizo, said:
“Waitrose’s recent price match campaign is already paying dividends, with consumers talking about it online”.

There have been some great recent initiatives from the supermarkets, showing competitive spirit and demonstrating real value for money. Over the August Bank Holiday weekend for example – Asda cut the cost of their petrol, which started a price war, whilst Sainsbury’s offered free delivery on all non-food orders.”

Children’s cereals also performed well, with Cheerios topping the category thanks to its reputation as a healthy option. Nostalgia provided a welcome boost to the cereals’ scores as teenagers and young adults shared stories of their favourite childhood breakfast choices over blogs and social networks.

For the mobile operators, poor customer service, delayed updates to handsets and corporate changes meant they failed to enhance their reputation despite new handset launches and customer engagement innovation such as O2’s eco mobile rating scheme awarding handsets a ‘green’ rating.

Airlines suffered yet another drop in online reputation with customers venting anything but virtual anger over delays, cancellations, strikes and poor customer service. Virgin Atlantic once again managed to outperform competitors, though its score slipped for the third Index in a row as tales of customer service issues were reported over social networks. RyanAir has plummeted to its lowest online reputation score yet with hate campaigns and negative press about hidden costs and extra charges, including news that a 12 year old girl was made to pay £190 to take her violin on board.

Harries continued: “There was a surprising decrease once again for Virgin, showing that even the best loved brands need to stay on top of the game. Delays, poor service and lack of communication are incredibly annoying for consumers and these frustrations are inevitably played out online as customers communicate anywhere, be it an airport lounge over the other side of the world, or a mobile phone store in Hackney.”

The Kaizo Advocacy Index researched four sectors; supermarkets, children’s cereals, airlines and mobiles. Waitrose, Morrisons and Cheerios performed the best across all sectors researched. Brands with the worst scores include Ryanair, BMI and Orange.

For a copy of the full report please click here

To view additional materials please click here

Ends

Notes to Editors
About Kaizo
Kaizo is an award winning independent PR and digital agency helping business and consumer brands thrive in today’s economy. Our clients include Cisco, Flip Video, Unilever, Serco, Elsevier and Johnson & Johnson.

For further information
Sarah Mayer
020 3043 4163

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