Airlines suffer in ‘word of mouse’ study

A study of “online advocacy” has found that the five airline brands covered have all lost ground over the past six months.

UK-based PR agency Kaizo has released its Summer Advocacy Index, the second in what is planned to be a bi-annual index.

Rankings are based on the top ten independent responses  to brand searches on Google’s web, news, blog and groups channels.  Search results are graded as positive, neutral or negative, with the index arrived at by subtracting the percentage of promoters from the percentage of detractors.

Virgin Atlantic has the highest online advocacy rating (+16) followed by bmi (+11), easyJet (-7), British Airways (-39) and Ryanair (-40).

Kaizo explained that Virgin Atlantic has done well on the back of its commitment to Kenya as a tourist destination following the post-election clashes earlier this year. BA meanwhile picked up a lot of detractors after the Terminal 5 opening debacle, while Ryanair’s menu pricing continues to generate complaints.

Comparisons with the Winter Advocacy Index released in February paint a different picture. Virgin Atlantic has dropped 49 points over six months, while Ryanair has fell away by 20, the smallest drop of the five.

Other sectors covered by the index are food, software and mobile. Top-ranked brands are Danone, Symbian and Orange respectively.

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