A new reputation survey of 20,000 consumers by Clear, M&C Saatchi’s branding agency has rated the search engine as the worst performing brand in Britain this year.
Google is now the 114th most popular brand in Britain- a huge drop with figures showing that it has lost 38pc of its ‘Brand Desire Index.’ The survey captures nine measures of attitudes to brands including respect and future use.
The BBC was also hit by the Jimmy Savile scandal and the disasters that followed. However, the broadcaster only lost 10pc of its brand desirability but the measures of respect that contribute to the index was significantly diminished.
Google’s corporate motto has come under fire from MP’s who claim executives “do evil” by directing billions of pounds in British revenue to an offshore tax haven office in Ireland.
The company has been continually shamed by negative headlines around its tax affairs and was twice called to defend its far-reaching evasion of UK corporation tax to MPs on the Public Accounts Committee.
Having been probed in Parliament, Google has sought to shift the debate away from criticism of multinationals and towards reform of the tax system.
Executive chairman Eric Schmidt said last month: “If the British system changes the tax laws then we will comply. That is a political decision for the UK democracy.”
The revealing new survey could affect Google Play’s future sales in the app store market which generated just under $400m of sales last year and could take a hit in the face of fierce competition from the Apple App Store and Blackberry World.
The tax debate has affected other multinational brands with British-owned Costa appreciated a 70pc increase in its BDI and Amazon avoiding remaining in the top 10 despite being unable to explain its tax avoidance structure to the Public Accounts Committee.
Lidl and Asda were the big winners announcing 80pc and 61pc BDI rises respectively with shoppers clearly feeling the pinch of austerity measures.