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This AnxietyIndex study highlights quantitative research in the U.K. conducted in the wake of the riots there in August 2011. The survey, which polled 290 British adults, examines their anxiety levels and drivers, both broadly and as they relate specifically to the riots. It also looks at whether the riots have changed perceptions of those brands that were affected by the looting and that aided in the cleanup, and points to how brands might help to address the root cause of the problem.
AGENDA Background and Methodology .............................................................. 3 Are Brits feeling anxious? ...................................................................... 4 What’s driving anxiety in the U.K.? ...................................................... 7 The Riots—Causes .................................................................................. 14 The Riots—Aftermath .............................................................................. 22 The Riots—Brands and Social Media ............................................................ 332
BACKGROUND AND METHODOLOGY For the latest installment of AnxietyIndex, JWT examined attitudes and behaviors following the August riots in London. Survey conducted using JWT SONARTM, our proprietary online research tool. Data collected in August 2011. 290 adults aged 18+, living in the U.K. Data are weighted by age and gender.3
Anxiety in the U.K. has been on the rise since June 2010. 90 80 74 74 71 73 73 70 67 65 63 61 60 50 40 30 39 37 35 33 29 27 27 20 26 26 10 % Nervous/Anxious % Not Nervous/Anxious 0 Aug Nov Dec Feb Mar Sep Jun Nov Aug 2008 2008 2008 2009 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 Overall, given everything that is going on in the world, the country and your family’s life, how nervous or anxious would you say you currently are?5
The percentage who are “very anxious” has reached a two-year high. 30 25 20 17 16 15 15 15 12 13 11 10 9 9 5 % Very Nervous/Anxious 0 Aug Nov Dec Feb Mar Sep Jun Nov Aug 2008 2008 2008 2009 2009 2009 2010 2010 2011 Overall, given everything that is going on in the world, the country and your family’s life, how nervous or anxious would you say you currently are?6
ANXIETYINDEX MAP SAFETY/SECURITY ECONOMIC Political Leadership Threat of Terrorism State of Economy FURTHER FURTHER FROM FROM “HOME” “HOME” Potential Military Cost of Health Hostilities Care CLOSER CLOSER TO TO “HOME” Current Military Cost of Living “HOME” Hostilities Crime Job Security SAFETY/SECURITY ECONOMIC8
Economic factors are driving anxiety, to an even greater extent than in November 2010. Political Leadership 700 600 Threat of Terrorism State of Economy 500 400 300 200 Potential Military 100 Quality of Hostilities Health Care 0 Current Military Hostilities Cost of Living August 2011 November 2010 Crime Job Security AnxietyIndex: % who are nervous or anxious/% who are not Events in your life, in the country and in the world can make people nervous or anxious. For each of the following, please indicate how nervous or anxious you currently are, or not.9
Concerns about the stock market, unemployment and especially gasoline and food prices have risen. Quality of Products from China 350 Government’s Global Pandemics Budget Deficit 300 Impact of Global 250 The Stock Warming Market 200 150 Natural Disasters 100 Bank Failures 50 0 The War in The Housing Afghanistan Market The War in Iraq Unemployment Rates National August 2011 Gasoline Prices Infrastructure November 2010 Safety of the Food Prices Food Supply AnxietyIndex: % who are nervous or anxious/% who are not Events in your life, in the country and in the world can make people nervous or anxious. For each of the following, please indicate how nervous or anxious you currently are, or not.10
People don’t see the economy improving in the near future. WORSE BETTER Food prices -54 -55 The cost of living -54 -53 Petrol prices -51 -65 Unemployment rates -43 -43 The state of the economy -33 -28 Military hostilities around the world -28 -28 The current political leadership in your country -25 -21 Potential military hostilities around the world -24 -31 The stock market -22 -8 The state of the national infrastructure -20 -25 The government’s budget deficit -19 -20 The threat of terrorism -17 -25 The quality of health care -16 -17 The rate of crime -15 -19 The housing market -14 -22 Bank failures -11 -10 Global pandemic diseases -9 -11 Job security August 2011 -8 November 2010 -15 Safety of the food supply -8 -7 Overall, given everything that is going on in the world, the country and your family’s life, how nervous or anxious would you say you currently are?11
Slightly more people feel the recession has had a great impact on them vs. 2010… 50% of respondents reported a score August 2011 between 7-10 in November 2010 2011 compared to 44% in 2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Hasn’t Has impacted impacted me at all me a great deal No Impact Great Impact On a scale of 1-10, where 1 means tough economic times haven’t impacted me personally at all and 10 means tough economic12 times have impacted me personally a great deal, how would you rate yourself?
…and many are unsure when the economy might begin to improve. When will the economy start to get better? 90 80 70 60 50 40 40% 30 23% 20 20% 10 8% 6% 2% 0 I never It has already It will start It will start It will start I have no idea considered the started to to get better to get better to get better when it will country to be get better this autumn next year in 2013 or get better in a recession (2011) (2012) later When, if ever, do you think the economy will start to get better?13
Disgust and shock were common initial reactions to the recent rioting. 64% said One word to describe your first feelings about the riots they were very or a little surprised when they first heard about the riots What one word would best describe your feelings at that time? Which of the following comes closest to your views when you first heard about the riots?15
The rioters’ looting is seen as a worse crime than the falsification of expense claims by MPs. Which is more criminal? Falsification of expense claims 41% by British MPs 59% Looting of shops by rioters Which do you see as a more criminal act?16
While people see multiple factors as causing the riots, they are more likely to blame things individuals are responsible for (e.g., bad parenting) than societal factors like poor education. What are the main root causes of the riots? Decline in respect for others 69% Gang culture 68% Criminality 63% Bad parenting 62% Unemployment 43% Failure of authority 43% Poor education 43% Boredom 41% Inequality within British society 35% Culture of being “on the take” 33% Consumerism 29% Cuts in funding for youth services 29% Poverty 28% Police failures 22% Influence of rap-grime music 13% Which of the following, if any, do you feel are the main root causes of the riots and unrest on the streets of Britain?17
Parents are being blamed for the riots, to a much greater degree than the government… Who do you think is to blame for the riots? Parents & guardians 57% The British government 35% Young people in general 34% Social networks 31% The media 25% The police 19% Schools/educational establishments 17% Local councils 10% Advertisers 8% Brands 6% And on which of these, if any, would you assign blame for the riots?18
The young also blame the police, while the older generation hold social networks partly responsible. Who do you think is to blame for the riots? 41% Parents & guardians 55% 69% 36% The British government 40% 31% 30% Young people in general 35% 37% 30% The police 21% 10% 22% The media 30% 24% 20% Social networks (i.e., Twitter, Facebook, Blackberry) 30% 37% 18% Local councils 7% 6% 13% Age Brands 4% 18-34 2% 35-49 13% 50+ Schools/educational establishments 14% 21% 8% Advertisers 5% 10%19
The nation is looking to individuals to address the problems at the root of the riots, as well as the government. Who is responsible for addressing the root of the problem? Parents & guardians 66% 40% 66% The British government 59% 81% Young people themselves 56% 42% Judicial system 39% 57% 65% The police 38% Schools/educational establishments 35% Age 18-34 Local councils 25% 35-49 50+ Social services 23% Older people overwhelmingly see better parenting as the solution. More surprisingly, 42% of younger people think they themselves must take responsibility. And going forward, whose responsibility is it to address the problems which lie at the root of the rioting?20
Despite some wariness and mistrust, people are predominantly worried for the youth in their communities. How do you feel about the young people in your community? Worry for them 41% Feel wary of them 32% Don’t trust them 25% Don’t understand them 17% Pity them 17% Sympathize with them 15% Wish to help them 14% Feel angry toward them 13% Support them 11% Fear them 9% Dislike them 8% The over-50s in particular Trust them 8% are worried for these Understand them 7% youngsters (52%), much Feel proud of them 5% more so than young people Begrudge them 2% themselves (28%). Thinking about the young people in your community, which of the following words or phrases describe how you’re currently feeling?21
While many are still proud to be British, there is some element of shame and embarrassment following the riots. How do you feel about being British today? How do you feel about being British today?23
People feel that local communities and the police handled the riots well, unlike the government. How well did each of the following handle the riots? Local communities 74% 26% The police 65% 35% The judicial system 64% 36% The media 57% 43% Local councils 56% 44% Boris Johnson 46% 54% David Cameron 45% 55% Very/Somewhat Well 42% Very/Somewhat Poorly The British government 58% It is interesting that the police should emerge relatively unscathed from the riots, when they were so heavily criticized by the media for the speed of their response and considered by some to have been at least partly responsible for sparking the first riots. Yet even the 18-34s think they did a good job of policing the riots (67%), perhaps suggesting sympathy for the scale of the problem they faced. How well did each of the following handle the riots?24
And there’s a positive feeling about the public’s show of solidarity after the riots. Did you see any “peace How did these things make you feel? walls”/riot cleanups? 38% 44% 18% Yes No, but I heard about them No, nor have I heard about them How did these things make you feel?25
Punishments of those convicted were deemed appropriate, with some wanting harsher consequences, particularly the young. Do you feel that the What punishments do you think would have been punishments were… more appropriate? 10% “Very long prison sentences to deter people in the future.” “Longer sentences and community service to put right the damage and pay toward the cost of repairs.” 43% of those 42% aged 18-34 felt “Make them clean up their own mess.” the punishments were not severe “Name and shame even the youngest, provide longer sentences for enough wrongdoers, make the people who did the damage repair it.” “The offenders should be made to do community work, helping to 34% put right the things they caused, not just be allowed to loll around in prison at our expense, with TV, three good meals, etc.” 13% Excessive Appropriate Not severe enough I’m not really familiar with the punishments On the whole, do you feel that the punishments handed out to those convicted during the rioting were …? What punishments do you think would have been more appropriate?26
An overwhelming majority believe the riots will happen again, and a quarter feel less safe in their communities than before. Do you think the riots will How do you fell about your happen again? own personal safety? 1% 2% 18% 40% 91% of all 74% respondents believe the riots will happen again 24% of all 41% of those 33% respondents aged 18-34 reported feeling reported feeling 17% less safe less safe 9% 7% I think it will happen again, and very soon Much safer than before I think it will happen again, but not for a few months A little safer than before I think it may happen again, but likely not for a long time About the same as before I don’t think it will happen again A little less safe than before Much less safe than before Some people have told us that they are concerned that the behavior seen during the riots could happen again. What do you think? How do you feel about your own personal safety on the streets where you live?27
Will future peaceful protests be affected? Quite a few say they would be too afraid to attend a protest now. Would you participate in a protest for a cause you strongly supported? 27% 23% 24% 18% 8% Absolutely fine, I would go along, I would be nervous, I would be much None of these I would go along but would be a but I would too afraid to attend no problem little more wary still go along a protest right now 35% of those aged 18-34 say they would be too afraid to attend a protest. With further demonstrations said to be planned for autumn 2011, will this affect participation? Imagine that a protest march were being arranged that related to a cause you strongly supported. Assuming you really wanted to show your support, how comfortable would you now feel about participating?28
Youth projects and initiatives are seen as measures that could prevent future riots (as well as the need for continued police funding). What should the government do to prevent more riots? Apprenticeship programs 49% More funding for youth projects and facilities 45% Reverse the decision to cut police funding 45% Introduce legislation to deter such behavior 39% Address poverty in our society 38% Deploy more police officers to front-line policing 37% Introduce compulsory military service 36% Address inequality in our society 35% Hire more police 29% Reverse the decision to charge for tuition fees 21% Reinstate the EMA 15% What do you think the government should do to prevent a recurrence of the riots?29
While the majority have not changed their views, support for the government and its spending cuts has been adversely affected. Support for Coalition Support for Spending Cuts Government 6% 6% 7% 5% 54% 62% Overall, 25% 35% of 12% of respondents 8% respondents are support the less supportive 23% coalition 17% of spending government cuts less Support a lot more Support a little more No change Support a little less Support a lot less How have the riots affected your support of the coalition government, if at all? How do you feel now, after the riots, about the spending cuts that the coalition government has introduced?30
Many are concerned that tourism will suffer as a result of the riots… Effect on Britain Tourism—people will not want to visit Britain 65% Our government will be seen as less credible 48% Events 43% Business—companies will not want to invest in Britain 39% Migration—individuals will not want to study 18% or work in Britain In which of the following areas, if any, do you think the reputation of Britain and its institutions will be affected by the news of the riots and unrest?31
…but the majority are confident that Britain can deliver a safe Olympics, albeit with a larger bill for added security. Effect on 2012 Olympics 73% of Britons are It will cost substantially more for security 64% confident the country can Fears over potential rioting could 52% deliver a safe spoil the atmosphere Security will make it very difficult to Olympics get around during the events 40% Some sponsors may think twice about being involved with the games 36% People will decide to not 31% come watch the games People will be more likely to leave 19% the U.K. in case trouble erupts Some countries won’t send their athletes 16% Thinking specifically about the London Olympics in 2012, what impact, if any, do you think the riots/unrest may have? How confident are you that Britain can deliver a safe Olympics?32
SOURCES OF ANXIETY: THE RIOTS—BRANDS AND SOCIAL MEDIA33
The reputations of brands looted during the riots remain unaffected; those that aided the cleanup received a boost. Impact on reputation of brands targeted Impact on reputation of brands helping during the riots (Nike, Adidas) with cleanup (Sainsbury’s, M&S) 4% said 2% they felt 2% more positively 60% 21% toward targeted said they felt brands more positively toward brands helping with cleanup in the 39% 84% aftermath of the riots 36% 8% 3% 4% 1% I think much more positively of them Somewhat more positively of them My opinions haven’t changed Somewhat more negatively of them Much more negatively of them How does this coverage, if at all, affect how you view the reputation of these brands?34
There’s a real opportunity for brands to build positive sentiment by getting involved in initiatives for youth. How could brands help young people feel connected to their community? Sponsoring youth initiatives, facilities and programs in communities 52% Provide training opportunities 44% dedicated to deprived kids Facilitate the involvement of young 40% people in their local communities Put money into deprived areas/communities 36% Promote responsible attitudes to consumerism 33% Brands have no role to play and 20% should not be involved How do you think brands could do more to make young people feel more connected to their communities?35
Many think social networks should be restricted if need be, and a third feel more negatively toward them. Should social networking Feelings about brands involved sites be restricted? in social networking 64% of 33% Britons agree 34% that social networking sites should be 6% restricted 30% 60% have no change in feelings 60% 18% about social networking brands 19% Agree strongly Yes, more negative Agree somewhat Yes, more positive Don’t really agree No difference Don’t agree at all Some politicians suggested that social networks should be restricted in the future to prevent them from being used in a negative way. Do you agree? Do you feel in any way differently now about social networking brands such as Facebook and Twitter?36
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