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Daily Telegraph: BrandIndex: Oil giants' image slips up on big profits

The public just doesn't like it when oil companies make money. BP and Shell report bumper profits and there's an immediate dip in their scores on YouGov's BrandIndex, which measures public approval of companies.
After a year in which consumers have been forced to pay ever higher prices at the petrol pumps, Shell's profits announcement sent its “general impression” score down by eight points from +9 to +1, and its “value for money” score from 0 to -8.
BP's figures started to fall on speculation about its profits and the company's eventual announcement of an £11 billion profit knocked it even further. BP's “general impression” rating has fallen to +12 and its “value for money” score to -10, compared with +21 and -4 at the end of January.
Shell and BP's record profits have also dragged down the reputation of the rest of the sector as consumer and motorist groups put the boot in.
So “value for money” reputations have fallen for all the oil companies tracked on BrandIndex including Esso down eight points, Texaco down three, Jet down three and Gulf down five.
Concerns over health and obesity continue to be the driving force for public opinion about confectionery and snack brands. The joint decision by Mars and Cadbury's to put health warnings on chocolate – the “Be Treatwise” campaign – seems to have paid off. Mars' corporate reputation has risen four points since the move, while Cadbury's has risen three.
Meanwhile, China remains an image problem for Google. When the story of Google's censored Chinese search engine first broke there was just a small effect but that has since snowballed.
Google's “buzz” has now fallen a full 21 points to +15. Google is such a strong brand that it remains one of BrandIndex's best performers, but it is now outshone by Cadbury's and Marks & Spencer. (See www.BrandIndex.com/about for details of methodology.)

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