NEWS17 November 2022

Public backs brands speaking out about the Qatar World Cup

Leisure & Arts Middle East and Africa News UK

UK – Half of all consumers would respect brands more for speaking out about the Fifa World Cup in Qatar, according to research commissioned by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA).

Qatar preparing for the World Cup

In the research, based on a survey of 2,000 people carried out by Opinium, 49% of adults and 63% of 18 to 34-year-olds said they would have more respect if brands spoke out about the World Cup.

The World Cup in Qatar has proved controversial for numerous reasons, including the deaths of workers building the stadiums, the country’s human rights record and persecution of LGBTQ+ people, and allegations of corruption around the vote that saw Qatar awarded the tournament.

The IPA research also found 34% felt the World Cup would provide a much-needed distraction from challenges faced this year, with men ( 40%) more likely to agree with this statement than women ( 29%).

However, 34% of adults do not believe the World Cup will provide a welcome distraction.

The research found that 38% of 18 to 34-year-olds believe that having the World Cup during the Christmas build-up makes it more exciting, compared with 20% of all adults and 8% of over-55s.

Nearly half of young adults ( 47%) will prioritise World Cup viewing this year over major seasonal TV shows such as Strictly Come Dancing and I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here.

The research also found that 39% of 18 to 34-year-olds were more excited for the World Cup due to the England Women’s team’s victory in Euro 2022 this summer, particularly among men ( 42% compared with 18% of women).

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.”