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First sign of Primark fallout

Primark saw its “Brand Buzz” score in the daily Brand Index survey run by research firm YouGov plummet in the wake of the BBC’s Panorama exposé on Monday.

The daily survey, which asks 2,000 consumers whether they have heard anything positive or negative about 1,100 different brands in the past fortnight, showed that Primark had swung to a -12% Brand Buzz score on Tuesday. The score is calculated by deducting the number of negative responses from the number of positive responses to achieve a net balance.

In May, before the allegations that Primark suppliers had sub-contracted work to children broke, the value fashion retailer scored an average of +7.3% over the month. However, Primark’s overall score, which also takes in views on quality, value for money and satisfaction, stood at just -1% on Tuesday, suggesting shoppers may not be completely turned off the company’s fast fashion and bargain prices positioning. Its average overall score was +2.95% in May.

On Monday night, more than 4.2 million people tuned in to Panorama, which showed children hand-stitching beads and sequins onto a vest top, dress and nightwear which were on sale in selected Primark stores.

Last week, Primark axed the three factories in southern India which featured in the pro-gramme and launched a website – www.ethicalprimark.com – to manage consumer confidence.

On Tuesday, Primark posted a film of its HR director Breege O’Donoghue taking part in a hard journalistic-style interview on the allegations.

See next week’s Drapers for an exclusive ICM poll on consumer sentiment towards Primark.

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