Survey Shows SeaWorld’s Reputation Damaged but Intact

It's gonna be OK. Not really though.

“It’s gonna be OK, boy (not really though).”

We’ve written a good bit about SeaWorld’s reputation struggles recently; we even included the company on our list of 2013’s “biggest losers“, because have you seen Blackfish? Damn.

You can’t always trust social media, though: a recent survey by YouGov‘s Brand Index shows us that the damage might not be quite as bad as we thought. In fact, it’s been “comparatively far milder than other recent major crises in the news.”


Here’s a summary: when the film debuted, it didn’t damage the company’s reputation too much because few people saw it. Once it aired on CNN that all changed, but even then the dip in public perception was “slow but persistent” rather than immediate and dramatic, as in recent cases involving Target’s security breach and Abercrombie and Fitch’s moronic CEO.

Of course no company wants to suffer through such a gradual decline, but the point we take from this survey is that “buzz” and “reputation” don’t always match up. And the findings should, at the very least, be encouraging to SeaWorld. They might just weather this storm after all…unless Blackfish wins the Oscar. Then they’re totally screwed.

Via our sister site FishbowlNY, here’s another story contradicting the “everybody hates SeaWorld” line: an ex-trainer who worked closely with the film’s director now claims that there was “no real interest in revealing the whole truth”:

“Attempts to publish articles that presented a more fair, honest and unbiased perspective were eventually nixed at the very last minute. It was naive of me to seek to expose the truth that contradicted many of those within the film via CNN, the company which had a vested interest in the success of the film.”

Hmm. Not so sure about that one.