Prudential and BA suffer as reputations sink

Stephan Shakespeare
Follow Stephan
YOUGOV’S BrandIndex scores show the insurance giant Prudential slipping since its announcement that it intends to acquire the Asian life insurance firm, AIA. BrandIndex has witnessed a dramatic drop in Prudential’s buzz score, which is measured by taking those who have heard something positive about a brand in the last week and subtracting those who have heard something negative. On 19 May Prudential’s buzz score fell to -3.1 in a response to plans that the firm is hoping to raise $21bn needed for the acquisition in what is the world’s largest rights issue. Since setting its sights on AIA, Prudential has found itself in the media spotlight for all the wrong reasons and its buzz score has mirrored these slip ups.

Its score has sunk even further in recent days following the revelation that the banks underwriting the deal are in line to receive as much as $850m in fees. In addition reports that the head of AIA, Mark Wilson, has threatened to resign if the acquisition takes place have resulted in Prudential’s buzz score dropping to a six month low of -3.4 yesterday.

BrandIndex has also seen British Airways’ reputation score unravel in recent days following the latest set of strikes which began on Monday. The aviation giant’s reputation had been slowly recovering throughout April after being plagued by not only previous strike action but also the volcanic ash disruption.

However, the breakdown in talks over the weekend resulted in workers’ union Unite setting three five day strikes and reputation scores have fallen almost 18 points, to 2.9, in response. Whilst talks continue it is unclear whether a deal will be agreed any time soon. Reputation scores are set to nose-dive even further.

Stephan Shakespeare is founder and chief executive of YouGov