BlackBerry's reputation takes a hit from rioters

BlackBerry: brand impacted by riots
BlackBerry: brand impacted by riots

BlackBerry's brand image has taken a hit, following reports that rioters in the UK used the mobile brand's messenger system to co-ordinate activity.

Research commissioned by Marketing and conducted by social media monitoring company Brandwatch, reveals negative sentiment towards BlackBerry on Twitter has increased, compared to data compiled before the riots.

The number of mentions of BlackBerry on Twitter in the UK rocketed from 1,500 a day on 7 August to more than 8,000 at the peak of the rioting.

Graph 1: Mentions of BlackBerry on Twitter spiked on 9 August (source: BrandWatch)

The proportion of mentions of BlackBerry in a negative light increased from 16% to 24% over the course of the rioting. Before the rioting, 79% of mentions of Blackberry on Twitter were neutral, 16% were negative and 5% positive.

Graph 2: Sentiment included in Twitter mentions of BlackBerry prior to riots (source: BrandWatch)

During the riots, however, the public attitude towards BlackBerry worsened, according to the research. Almost a quarter of Twitter comments on Blackberry were negative, compared to 4% positive and 71% neutral.

 

Graph 3: Sentiment included in Twitter mentions of Blackberry during riots (source: BrandWatch)

 

As rioting has gripped the streets of London, Manchester, Salford and other towns and cities across England, BlackBerry has been in the spotlight for its messenger system, which has been used by rioters, along with several other means, for co-ordinating attacks.

The brand, which is owned by Research in Motion, was swift to co-operate with police as the violence escalated.

Indeed, Research in Motion's UK blog was taken over by hackers supporting the rioters and denouncing the company for working with the police.

Facebook and Twitter have also come under the spotlight as services that have enabled conspirators to plan attacks.

The reverse of this is evident now however as people in affected areas use BBM, Facebook and Twitter to co-ordinate clean-up missions and to raise awareness and money to support victims of the riots.

Brandwatch tracked 8,000 BlackBerry mentions on Twitter in the UK since the riots broke out.

Expert comment: Giles Palmer, chief executive, Brandwatch

"As you would expect in light of the trouble in the UK and a public call for the BBM network to be shut down, negative sentiment surrounding the brand has significantly increased. Whether this will be sustained as the dust settles is so far unclear.

Twitter and Facebook have also acted as an accelerant in many cases, with users copying and pasting statuses from BBM to the more public social networks. Although BBM is a closed network, nearly everything on Twitter can be tracked and much of Facebook can be too, but this depends on user-privacy settings.

Their reputation has been heightened with the trouble since they were used to spread the word used in the #riotcleanup campaign in recent days."

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Oasis #springasmile digital campaign gets people doing good deeds
Coca-Cola: 'Don't approach bloggers with a fait accompli'
Tesco CMO Matt Atkinson: 'It is so important not to stereotype mothers'
McDonald's gives Ronald a new look ahead of global 'Fun times' social media push
In pictures: BrewDog opens first craft beer shop BottleDog for 'beer aficionados'
Facebook ad revenue leaps $1bn as it invests in targeting
Malteser or Maltesers? Mars takes Hershey trademark dispute to court
Apple Q2 profits top $10bn as iPhone sales soar
Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers