During the year from April 2017 to March 2018, the Retail Banking Study from Mesh Experience recorded 666 experiences of Lloyds Bank from UK consumers. Of these, 43% were fairly positive experiences, and a further 18% very positive.
Meanwhile, just 3% were fairly negative and 2% very negative, while 34% of experiences were neutral. The study, which involves a nationally representative sample of 400 UK adults each month, is based on unprompted responses, where participants are asked to record their emotional response to every interaction they have with a brand, across all touchpoints.
A ComRes survey, paid for by litigation funder Therium on behalf of Noel Edmonds, found overwhelmingly negative views on Lloyds Banking Group, which has been embroiled in controversy around its handling of fraudulent activity that took place at HBOS before it was acquired by Lloyds, among other issues.
The survey found that the majority of consumers believed the bank should be stopped from using its ad slogan, "By your side", which Edmonds described as "propaganda" in an interview with Campaign.
Fiona Blades, president and chief experience officer at Mesh Experience, said the disparity between the two sets of research demonstrated how it was possible for research methods to be used to support a particular position, rather than uncover genuine consumer sentiment.
"While we don’t know how the ComRes research was undertaken, the fact that the research was commissioned by litigators raises a question as to how the questions were phrased and might not take into account unconscious bias and potential closed questions," Blades said.
"With any research it is imperative to ensure that any bias is avoided as much as possible. This is why the Marketing Research Society’s code has a section explicitly on not leading people to change their opinion."
This article first appeared on PRWeek sister title Campaign