BBC retains its popularity in spite of cost cuts

Stephan Shakespeare
Follow Stephan
BRANDINDEX’S “Buzz” score is calculated by taking the number of respondents who have heard something positive about a brand in the last week, and taking away those who have heard something negative.

The BBC’s Buzz scores took a significant downturn after the broadcaster announced it was planning to axe BBC 6 Music and the BBC Asian Network in a bid to curb spending. The “Buzz” score fell from +11 on 26 February to a low of -9 on 8 March, as DJs and fans protested.

However, BrandIndex shows how the BBC’s buzz score has already started to recover, reaching +4 by 15 March. This is less surprising when we consider the overall strength of the BBC’s brand. Looking at the overall “Index” scores for the five main TV brands, the BBC remains consistently higher than most of its competitors. When looking at the average Index scores over the past year, the BBC is the sector leader with an average score of +40, in spite of scandals over excessive pay. It is closely followed by Channel 4 on +36. ITV (+23), while Sky (+12), and Channel 5 (+11.5) languish some distance behind. Rupert Murdoch may say the BBC has uncompetitive advantages, but he cannot deny it is a much-loved brand.

Meanwhile, we see in another area how big deals affect consumers’ awareness of brands. Attention surrounding Kettle has continued to grow since Diamond Foods agreed to pay Lion Capital, the London-based private equity house, £400m to land Kettle Foods. The agreement, signed on 26 February, coincides with a significant increase in BrandIndex “Attention” levels from +9 on 26 February to +15 on 12 March.

Stephan Shakespeare is co-founder and co-chief executive of YouGov.