Sony brand hit by hack as it reverses decision not to release The Interview

Sony’s brand has taken a hit after it was targeted by hackers who revealed information from confidential emails and decided to cancel plans to show controversial film The Interview, which features an assassination plot against North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, a decision it has now reversed.

The cyber attack began on 24 November when a group of hackers calling themselves the “Guardians of Peace” took over Sony computers and released the contents of emails that discussed business plans. The attack ultimately led to Sony Pictures cancelling plans to release The Interview after the hackers threatened to strike against cinemas showing the film.

Much of the information contained within the leaks was negative and the Sony’s decision not to release The Interview was roundly criticised. Figures from YouGov’s BrandIndex show that Sony as an electronics brand, the only category in which it is measured, has been negatively impacted.

The brand’s Buzz score, a measure of the positive and negative things said about the brand, has fallen by a statistically significant 14.1 points over the past month. It also fell from third place in the category to last (28th) over the period.

Its Reputation has also fallen in the past 30 days by three points to 37.3, although this still leaves it as the top performer in the category.

However, it’s far from all bad news for Sony with some of the data suggesting the attention Sony has received could have had a positive impact. Its overall Index score, a total of all seven measures, has barely been affected. Other metrics, including Attention and Word of Mouth Exposure, have increased by statistically significant amounts, while Consideration and Purchase Intent are also up.

Sony’s move to reverse its decision not to release The Interview – it plans to show it in a limited number of US cinemas on Christmas Day – has led to claims that the whole thing was a publicity stunt for the movie. T

Sony is yet to say what it plans to do about releasing the film in international markets or online.



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