Public opinion of P&O Ferries plummets following redundancy scandal
March 21st, 2022, Christien Pheby

Public opinion of P&O Ferries plummets following redundancy scandal

Last week, P&O Ferries abruptly terminated the employment of 800 staff via pre-recorded video message – announcing plans to replace the fired seafarers with third-party contractors. It’s a move that, according to YouGov BrandIndex, has had an instant and dramatic effect on the company’s public image.

While Buzz scores – which measure whether consumers have heard anything positive or negative about a brand in the past two weeks – for P&O Ferries were neutral on March 14 (0.5), they have now plunged to -24 (March 20 score; -24.5).

The negative coverage also had an immediate impact on Impression, which measures overall sentiment: over the same period, these scores plummeted from 19.6 to -10.7: a decline of 30.3 points in just a few short days.

It’s a similar story across several other measures: Index scores for P&O Ferries which track overall brand health using an average of Impression, Value, Quality, Reputation, Satisfaction, and Recommend metrics, saw an eighteen-point nosedive (falling from 13.9 to -4.1).

Our data also shows that P&O Cruises – an unrelated company with a similar name – has partially borne the brunt of public anger. Its efforts to clarify that it has no links to P&O Ferries have not been enough to stave off Twitter abuse, or a near ten-point drop in its overall brand health (-9.8) - which fell from 9.7 to -0.1.


YouGov BrandIndex collects data on thousands of brands every day. Figures are based on a 1-week moving average. Learn more about BrandIndex.