Google tops public poll on reputations of major companies

AFP, SAN FRANCISCO

Thu, May 05, 2011 - Page 10

Google Inc was ranked No. 1 in a US poll by Harris Interactive Inc regarding reputations of major corporations.

The Internet giant took first place from Berkshire Hathaway Inc, which fell to fourth place in the annual assessment of what the public thinks of companies, Robert Fronk of Harris said in an online video on Tuesday.

Google climbed from third place in last year’s survey.

The poll of more than 30,000 people revealed “positive momentum” in how the public views corporations, with opinions overall becoming steadily more favorable since 2009, Fronk said.

People seemed to avoid letting trouble at individual corporations taint opinions of entire sectors, the Harris poll indicated.

“The only industry that broad brush painting is still occurring is the financial services sector,” Fronk said.

“The public still believes that systemic selfishness, poor decision making and a lack of transparency and honesty are the norm across the category,” he said.

Johnson & Johnson ranked second in this year’s “reputation quotient” study, followed by 3M Co.

California-based Apple Inc had the fifth-best reputation, followed by Intel Corp, Kraft Foods Inc, Amazon.com Inc, General Mills Inc and the Walt Disney Co, according to Fronk.

All top 10 companies on the list saw their reputations improved from last year.

Key attributes to reputation were trust, admiration and respect, along with being seen as a company that outperformed competitors, while keeping ethics high.

The message from the US public was: “Do well, while doing good,” Fronk said.