Burger King seems to have dodged a consumer perception bullet in the U.S. in the aftermath of its recent UK “horse meat” scandal, despite the press attention it received here.
Burger King in the UK saw its perception levels quickly drop into negative territory when they admitted traces of horse DNA had been found in their supplies. Buzz scores in the UK declined from 2 to -15 while its overall brand health score fell from -8 to -18. A blitz of U.S. media stories ran about the incident, without mentioning that the incident was confined to Europe.
Stateside offices of Burger King kept its perception ratings relatively steady – just a recent very modest slide -- by announcing immediate DNA tests in all countries. So far, the burger chain has experienced nothing resembling the deep perception hit that Taco Bell took when it faced a January 2011 lawsuit challenging the chain’s marketing claims about the percentage of beef in its tacos. That lawsuit was suspect and eventually dropped voluntarily by the plaintiff.
Burger King was measured in the U.S. and UK with YouGov BrandIndex’s 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?"