Uber named most improved brand this year. Really.

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(This post originally appeared on The Washington Post)

Get ready #DeleteUber people. You’re not going to like this.

A survey published this week by YouGov BrandIndex, a company that tracks the public perception of brands worldwide, found that among the 1,500 brands they analyzed, Uber had the most improved brand perception among those aged 18-29 years old (you know, the millennials or Gen Y), even beating out the likes of Instagram, Spotify and Twitter. The survey data compared customer perceptions from the six months ending June 30 to the same period last year, AdWeek reports.

Uber grew its millennial customer base by 8.2 percentage points this year over last, which was the largest customer gain of all the other companies surveyed. There’s no doubt that competition from rivals like Lyft has eaten into Uber’s market share, and campaigns like #DeleteUber have peeled away customers. But though more than 200,000 customers reportedly left the company after a January passenger boycott, most have hung in there–and even returned.

Uber? You say. Isn’t that the ride sharing service that’s faced a public onslaught of bad media in the wake of sexual harassment charges, driver complaints, an exodus of top executives, legal battles and the less-than-CEO-type behavior from the company’s now former chief executive (and founder) Travis Kalanick?

Yes, that’s the one. So even after all the controversy, millennials actually view the company more positively this year than last year and at a better rate than the other favorites like Airbnb, Twitter and Apple. This is from the “socially conscious” generation that, as AdWeek points out, puts “ethical values” and “moral compass” as their priorities when evaluating companies to work for and products to buy. So why the change of heart?

YouGov BrandIndex CEO Ted Marzilli believes that sometimes money prevails over morality.  “I’m not saying millennials are not concerned about ethics,” he told AdWeek. “But people in the aggregate tend to make choices that are in their financial interests. So if taking Uber is more economical or convenient than waiting for a cab, I’m probably still going to call Uber.”


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