UK public slams responses by Starbucks, Wonga

Wonga, News UK, and Starbucks were judged to be the poorest communicators out of 20 companies hit by corporate crises.

LONDON: Wonga, News UK, and Starbucks were judged to be the poorest communicators out of 20 companies hit by corporate crises.

Populus carried out the research on behalf of Open Road in the second week of September.

Wonga was ranked the lowest out of the 20 companies, which included those hit by crises such as horsemeat, the banking crash, and tax avoidance.

The lender's response to negative stories about payday loans was rated as “poor” or “very poor” by 55% of 2,025 people surveyed.

Starbucks' response to headlines about UK tax avoidance was judged “poor” or “very poor” by 50%, making it the third-worst player after News UK, which scored 51% in reference to phone hacking.

Starbucks came below the four other companies involved in the UK tax avoidance stories: Google (which scored 47%), Apple, Amazon, and Starbucks.

This was despite, or perhaps because of, its unique attempt to defuse the crisis by promising to pay £10 million, or about $16.1 million, in corporation tax on a voluntary basis.

According to Open Road's analysis, this “drew unwanted attention to the issue and was perceived by consumers to be a gimmick.”

The best of the 20 companies at responding to a crisis was Tesco, but only 21% of those surveyed thought it had dealt with it well or quite well.

This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK.

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