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Sony Brand Name Seriously Tarnished by Hacking Controversy, Survey Says

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The overall Sony brand has reportedly taken a major hit in terms of consumer perception in the wake of the hacks against Sony Pictures and the ensuing fallout. The controversy has pushed media and technology giant to its worst levels in six years, according to new research service YouGov, discovered by Variety.

YouGov's BrandIndex is calculated by asking people:"If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" This is then calculated into a score that can range from 100 to -100, with a zero being a neutral position.

Sony's score this year began at 13, dropping to 11 on November 24 when the Sony hack was first made public. It only fell further from there as the hackers posted troves of internal Sony documents, including executive salaries, personal emails, and even movie scripts.

Things got even worse for Sony following week's cancellation of The Interview, the controversial James Franco/Seth Rogen movie apparently at the heart of the cyberattack, which the FBI says came from North Korea.

 

As of Friday, December 19, Sony's score was 3, a six-year low. YouGov points out that this could fall further, as The Interview's cancellation has drawn much displeasure from some, while United States president Barack Obama has even said Sony "made a mistake" in scuttling the movie's release.

This isn't the first time Sony's brand image has taken a hit in recent years. The company's BrandIndex score dropped off in April 2011 when the PlayStation Network was breached. Millions of accounts were compromised, and the service itself didn't return to full functionality for weeks.

For more on the fallout from the Sony Pictures hack, be sure to read GameSpot sister sites CNET and CBS News.

The YouGov BrandIndex is measured by interviews with 4,300 people every weekday from a representative US population sample.


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