The Post Office’s brand health has taken a hit after renewed interest in the postmasters scandal following the release of the ITV drama, Mr Bates vs The Post Office.
Since the drama, which highlights the legal scandal that saw more than 700 innocent postmasters accused and convicted of fraud and theft based on faulty IT software, aired on New Year’s Day, The Post Office’s reputation has faltered.
This is according to data gathered by YouGov BrandIndex, which tracks brand health. On 1 January, the firm’s reputation score was 6.4. It now sits at 4.8.
Likewise, its brand index score, a measure of overall brand health, dropped from 4.6 at the start of the year to 3.1 yesterday (9 January).
The Post Office scandal proves trust is always built from the ground upThe Post Office was already struggling, according to YouGov, with its buzz score – a measure of whether consumers are hearing generally positive things about a brand across a two week period – an already disappointing -1.1 on 1 January. It has since plummeted further to -4.5.
The UK government has announced plans to pass a law exonerating victims of the scandal, and will be providing an extra compensation payment of £75,000.
ITV’s Mr Bates vs The Post Office is so far the most watched TV programme of 2024, with 9.2 million viewers watching the first episode. It has helped ITV record its strongest start to the year for more than a decade, with an all-time share of 18.4% for the first eight days of 2024.
The Post Office’s sub-brands, which include utilities and services as well as life insurance, pensions and wealth management, have also taken a hit.
Utilities fares the strongest, with a positive brand index score of 16.2, down from 22.6 on 1 January. Similarly, life insurance, pensions and wealth management has a brand index score of 7.3, down from 10.4 at the turn of the new year.