Brand responses to Brexit

Brian Carruthers

"There's an absence of certainty" around Brexit, noted Alison Camps of Quadrangle, as she introduced a session on the subject at MRS Impact, an event held in London in March 2017. The public doesn't appear to be taking it too seriously, she added, referring back to earlier session where it was suggested that people see Brexit as a bit of a comedy, in which case "it's the bastard love child of Benny Hill and Dad's Army".

The reference to 1970s TV comedy shows will hardly have been enlightening to younger audience members, but the experiences of three different brands - the Charities Aid Foundation, Nationwide and John Lewis - gave a more useful perspective, not only on what consumers are thinking but on possible responses to the new social, economic and political environment in which brands are now operating.


The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) came armed with figures, having done a survey of some 500 charity CEOs at the end of 2016. These were broadly pessimistic about the impact of Brexit: 55% thought it would have a negative effect on their own charity, while 52% expected it to have an adverse impact on their cause area, and 60% saw it negatively affecting their beneficiaries.