40% of top fifty UK brands’ Google pages feature negative PR

According to web guru Jakob Nielsen, for most brands their Google search page is their “home” page, as far as Internet users are concerned. Research shows that more people visit “Ford” on Google than visit the Ford home page. But for many top UK brands their Google search results are dominated by negative commentary, insults, misinformation, or systematic campaigns against them.

A survey by Market Sentinel (www.marketsentinel.com) – a UK-based company specialising in online monitoring and response – shows that twenty of Britain’s top fifty grocery brands have negative commentary amongst the top ten results on their Google search page. For some the negative comment is the number one result.

The brands with critical commentary in Google’s UK top ten search results include Coca-Cola, Walker’s crisps, Lucozade, McCain oven chips, and Mars Bars. For Kingsmill Bread and Bird’s Eye fish fingers the negative results were ranked number one, ahead of the company’s official web presence.

ACNielsen UK grocery brand ranking, Brand, Google ranking of negative sites #

1 Coca-cola 5,7,8,9
2 Walker's crisps 2
3 Warburton's bakery 9
4 Cadbury's dairy milk 10
7 Kingsmill bread 1,2
12 Lucozade 4
17 Bernard Matthews 5, 9
18 KitKat 10
19 McCain 3
21 Flora 6
22 Fanta 3,6
27 Heinz baked beans 9
28 Mr. Kipling 10
32 Tetley tea 7
35 Dairylea 2,3,4,8,10
38 Red Bull 5,10
41 Bird's Eye fish fingers 1,9
42 Mars bars 4
43 Dolmio sauces 6,10
46 Bird's Eye chicken 2,4.7,8,10

Market Sentinel CEO Mark Rogers suggests that brand-owners need to pay more attention to online detractors. “Corporate PRs and brand owners don’t have to give this crucial ground to their critics. Online detractors can be out-thought, out-argued and out-marketed.”

For more information contact: Mark Rogers
020 7793 1575 (office)
07866 369181 (mobile)

About Market Sentinel Ltd (http://www.marketsentinel.com)

Market Sentinel Ltd is a privately held British company founded by the co-author of RSS – Ian Davis and the co-founding commissioning editor of BBC Online – Mark Rogers. Market Sentinel offers web monitoring, corporate blog-hosting and issue management services to a variety of blue chip and public relations companies.

For more information call: 020 7793 1575 or mail sales@marketsentinel.com

Published on: 12:00AM on 1st July 2005