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Half of Brits say they’d respect brands that speak out against the Qatar World Cup


By John Glenday, Reporter

November 17, 2022 | 4 min read

Vocal Fifa World Cup brands that speak out on human rights issues in host nation Qatar are earning the respect of consumers above those who remain silent, according to a survey conducted by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA).

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Human rights is a key issue concerning this winter’s World Cup in Qatar

The trade body found that half of consumers and two-thirds of young adults saluted those brands willing to put their heads above the parapet, while being ill at ease with those that stay quiet.

The survey of 2,000 people, commissioned by the IPA and conducted by Opinium, found that 49% of adults would respect companies more if they took a lead on social issues, a proportion that rises to 63% among 18-34s.

Big-name brands associated with the sporting tournament include Nike, Pringles and Gatorade.

Damian Lord, head of insight at the IPA, said: “How to manage activity during the Qatar World Cup is a significant problem and potential opportunity for brands to solve, both in terms of whether to comment on human rights issues and how to manage the disruption to the festive period. These findings will provide significant insight into how to best engage with football fans and people going about their Christmas shopping over the coming weeks and what issues matter most to their audience.”

Related findings contained in the report include an even split between those who welcome the World Cup as a distraction from bad news (34%), versus 34% who couldn’t care less.

A key driver of interest this time around is the success of the England women’s team, with 39% of 18-34-year-olds declaring themselves to be more excited in the game as a result.

A generational divide is also evident in the report, with 38% of 18-34-year-olds of the belief that the World Cup will enhance Christmas, compared to 20% of all adults and a scant 8% of those over 55. This is reflected in planned TV viewing, with 47% of young adults prioritizing World Cup matches over regular programming such as Strictly Come Dancing and I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here.

Separately the survey also looked at attitudes concerning Black Friday, discovering that women (56%) are more likely than men (45%) to limit spending to brands they trust. The report also established that 42% of 18-34s are more interested in shopping in-store than over-55s (8%) during the hyped sales event.

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