TalkTalk shifts marketing spend to customer comms as brand takes a hit following hack

TalkTalk is pausing its brand marketing to prioritise informing its customers and reassuring them after the company was hacked.

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The brand was attacked last week by hackers who claimed to have stolen private customer data, including bank details.

However, TalkTalk said today (26 October) that the amount of financial data stolen from its systems was “materially lower” than expected, and that the attack was on its public-facing website and not its core systems.

Nevertheless, a spokesman for the brand told Marketing Week that it is currently putting as much focus as possible on reassuring and informing its customers.

“We want to make sure that people are as informed as possible, which is why we paused our activity around The X Factor and any above the line marketing. We absolutely think that is the right thing to do,” he said.

The brand has paused marketing aimed at driving sales, instead focusing on informing customers using its digital platforms.

“Our PPC spend is now shifting towards informative copy that directs people to the right webpage where they can find out what happened and what they can do to protect themselves in the unlikely event that their data could be used by scammers,” he explained.

“We’re communicating with customers as and when appropriate using channels like email, social and we also have our customer forums that are very active right now.”

The TalkTalk spokesperson was unable to say when normal brand marketing would continue, but that the team would continually assess its options.

“We have to keep certain things going and we’ll review it as the week progresses. But now we’re putting all of our focus on our customers,” he added.

YouGov BrandIndex figures show a steadily decline in public brand perceptions since the news. TalkTalk is currently at the bottom of the overall Index list that includes 29 competitors and which measures a range of metrics including satisfaction, quality and reputation. Its overall score is -14.8, having fallen 10.5 points over the last week.

In terms of reputation and quality the brand once again remains at the bottom of the list, scoring -20.8 and -13 respectively.

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