The spiraling controversy of news anchor Brian Williams’ assertion and subsequent retraction about being on a downed helicopter while reporting on the Iraq War seems to have dragged down the consumer perception of the entire NBC network.
NBC’s consumer perception is now at its lowest point since early August 2013 when it had a number of crises on its hands: the news division came under fire for ignoring coverage of Russia’s stringent anti-gay laws one year before the Sochi Olympics was set to begin, Paula Deen canceled her “Today” show appearance amongst racism accusations; and the network released host Chris Hansen of its “To Catch A Predator” series after photos surfaced of the married father was caught kissing his ex-mistress.
To measure the Brian Williams impact, YouGov BrandIndex used its Buzz score, which asks respondents: "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?"
A score can range from 100 to -100 with a zero score equaling a neutral position. Example: A score of 35 means that 35% more people said they were positive than negative about the brand.
Starting in early February, NBC’s Buzz score went from 5 to its present -8, a fall of 13 points. The last time NBC’s Buzz score was -8 was August 2, 2013.
All measurements are for adults 18 and over.