One Direction lead singer Harry Styles is the latest detractor to turn the Internet against SeaWorld.
SeaWorld has had a bad run in the press, starting with the controversial documentary Blackfish in 2013, which claimed to expose animal cruelty in the parks. But Harry Styles has hurt Seaworld more than Blackfish did.
“Don’t go to SeaWorld,” Styles shouted toward a crowd of impressionable teens during a concert in San Diego last month, which happens to be SeaWorld’s headquarters. The comment, not surprisingly, barreled through social media with teens tweeting negatively about the park despite a tweet quickly sent by SeaWorld defending itself.
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Analysts at Credit Suisse released data last month saying that with the recent revelation of a SeaWorld employee working undercover at PETA plus Styles’ urge to boycott the park, there has been a 400 percent spike in mentions of SeaWorld online in the past two months, with 68 percent of comments trending negative.
But it was Styles’ comment that contributed to the majority of negative comments within the past three years, the analysts said.
Data compiled by Brandwatch for Digiday backs those numbers up. SeaWorld has garnered 1.2 million mentions since July 1, with 62 percent of tweets being negative. Two days after Styles’ call for a boycott, July 11, mentions of SeaWorld spiked 4.5 more times than normal.
Harry Styles did more damage to SeaWorld’s reputation than Blackfish
Chart: Credit Suisse
But not all hope is lost for SeaWorld, according to the analysis.
SeaWorld has launched a new ad campaign and is donating $10 million to research and conservation, Business Insider notes.
“We recognized that fully resolving our brand challenges in California will require sustained focus and commitment,” SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby said at the company’s quarterly earnings call in July. “Let me assure you that we remain steadfast in our efforts to overcome these challenges and to improve the performance of the company.”
The pressure is on and now is the best time to contribute to the downfall of SeaWorld. Please click here to ask SeaWorld to immediately set in place a firm and rapid plan to release the animals to sanctuaries that can provide them with a more natural environment.