Public turns against Kraft over Cadbury deal

Stephan Shakespeare
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Peter Mandelson has expressed his “disappointment” at the manner of Kraft’s take-over of Cadbury, and the public, as measured by BrandIndex, seems to agree.

Graph one shows what has happened to perceptions of the Kraft and Cadbury brands – measured as the proportion that are positive out of all those with a view, here with monthly averages. We see an immediate drop in Kraft’s scores as the takeover bid was announced, while Cadbury’s already-high positivity creeps up further: the fact that our chocolate was fancied by the Americans seemed to make us appreciate it even more. But from 18 January, when Cadbury’s board recommended a sale, both brands fall – indeed, Kraft plummets. The buzz scores are even worse.

The second graph shows the effect on some other Kraft brands: the bar charts show the degree to which perceptions have changed before-and-after the sale was confirmed, as a drop in the percentage of those who were previously positive. While the change just around this date for Kraft was -16 per cent and for Cadbury -6 per cent, for Toblerone, Ritz and Terry’s it was around -3 per cent – clearly most people are not aware of their parentage. Still less so for Kenco, which hardly slipped at all.

Speaking of Terry’s – YouGov’s BrandIndex shows a significant decline in Samsung’s reputation since details emerged about the personal life of the brand’s public face, John Terry, on 29 January.

Samsung’s reputation score plummeted from 34.6 on the day of the announcement to a four month low of 26.5 on 5 February.

This, despite announcing strong profits in the fourth quarter of 2009 on the same day, owed primarily to increased sales in flat screen TVs and mobile phones.

Stephan Shakespeare is co founder and chief innovation officer at YouGov.