Marks & Spencer tops media coverage survey

Marks & Spencer received the most favourable media coverage of all major retailers over the past six months, according to a new study.

The Presswatch Retail Sector Report was compiled by TNS Media Intelligence. The media monitoring firm evaluated all national newspaper articles containing commentary for 69 key retailers.

Marks & Spencer was given a score of 174.17, well ahead of its nearest rivals John Lewis and Topshop. The report credited the brand’s drive to promote itself as an ethical retailer as playing an important role in the chain’s revival.

In second place, John Lewis scored 80.83. The opening of a food hall at its flagship store on Oxford Street generated positive coverage, as did a bullish trading statement. But the retailer was also criticised over its decision to revise its 82-year-old ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ slogan.

In third, Topshop scored 77.5 after favourable coverage for its Kate Moss collection. The report was bad news for Tesco, which finished last with a score of -140. But the major supermarkets all suffered in September as a res­ult of the Office of Fair Trading’s investigation into the alleged price-fixing of dairy products.

Fashion chain Gap also took a battering in the press after it was revealed that an Indian subcontractor making clothes for the retailer was using forced child lab­our. These stories caused it to rank 60th in the chart with a score of -26.7.

Retailers scored up to 30 points for positive commentary and down to -30 for negative commentary. The new report will look at different sectors of industry every month.

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