Uniqlo China sex tape results in decline of purchasing intent

A quick consumer survey by YouGov around the release of a sex tape filmed in one of Uniqlo China's changing rooms has found that negative perceptions outweigh positive ones

Uniqlo's outlet in Sanlitun, Beijing where the video was reportedly filmed
Uniqlo's outlet in Sanlitun, Beijing where the video was reportedly filmed

On July 15, a video of a couple having sex in what has been reported to be a changing room in one of Uniqlo's outlets in Beijing went viral causing fury and embarassment on the part of the Chinese government.

Since then, the government has arrested five people in connection with the video.

AP reports that the Cyberspace Administration of China may even be investigating Uniqlo's participation in the making of the video as a 'publicity stunt'.

Uniqlo has since denied any part in the making of the video and has asked consumers, via its Weibo account, to "obey social ethics and safeguard social justice, and use the fitting rooms provided by Uniqlo stores correctly and properly."

If it was a marketing stunt however, it would have had mixed results, research firm YouGov has found. The survey, conducted with 5,204 YouGov panelists between 16 and 21 July found that, in general, purchase intent for the brand has declined, albeit not universally.

The survey found that 23 per cent of male respondents think that the incident increases their interest to shop at Uniqlo, but that 28 per cent have a negative impression of the brand.

For a third of women respondents however, the incident has given them a "very negative impression of the brand" and only 16 per cent would like to visit the shop out of curiosity now.

Interestingly, 8 per cent of women and 11 per cent of men think the video has "enhanced their perception of Uniqlo has a young and energetic brand".

This year, the increasingly popular brand ranked 157 on Campaign Asia-Pacific’s Top 1000 brands, up from 237 in 2014.

The incident has also not deterred the brand's loyal customers. The survey found that the video's fame has increased the purchase intent for 34 per cent of frequent customers (those who shop more than once per season at the store). These consumers are also more curious to visit the shop. 

The full results can be viewed in the infographic below:

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