A new media study says shamed oil giant BP has lost close to a billion dollars in online brand value since the late-April Deepwater Horizon explosion. The study, via media firm General Sentiment, says that just since June 1, BP has lost more than $32 million a day in brand value.
General Sentiment CEO Greg Artzt says the firm calculates media value by converting sentiment and exposure, based on online mentions, to CPMs, or an advertising-equivalent dollar value thereof. He says the firm's software analyzes some 30 million sources of content a day from news, social media, blogs and website. "We use sentiment analysis to explore whether it's from a press release or just natural discussion.
"We don't measure advertising, though" says Artzt, who tells Marketing Daily that the firm also doesn't measure negative sentiment. Rather, all sentiment is measured in terms of how positive it is. "We measure the natural values," he says. The oil company's numbers are, by comparison, far worse than those of Toyota, per Artzt.
"If you look at Toyota, it depends on assumptions you make; our base assumptions are such that what we do is give positive value to everything but less of a positive value to comments or news that is negative." He says the firm compiled a list of the 20 most-commented-upon brands in the first quarter. "Toyota got into it, and we found that online conversation about them amounted to a $250 million loss, about a fourth of BP's."
He says it will cost BP a fortune to dig itself out of the hole it is in just on the media side. "At the retail level, it will affect them," he predicts, adding that the numbers show that BP would have to do a tremendous amount of advertising merely to counterbalance the negative commentary. "And they are clearly worried about their brand; they do a lot of advertising. But look at their market cap. They won't recover."
And, in case anyone is looking, the firm says the estimated media value cost per gallon of the 126.3 million gallons or so of oil that has gushed into the Gulf (based on government high-ball estimates) is $6.66 per gallon. The Exxon spill was 11 million gallons.