Corporate America's Reputation Hits the Floor

Last Updated Apr 28, 2009 8:13 AM EDT

  • The Find: Corporate America's reputation tanked to its lowest level in a decade, research finds, with the financial industry now enjoying the same standing as big tobacco.
  • The Source: The Harris Interactive RQ survey.
The Takeaway: With the economy in tatters and the headlines full of $87,000 rugs for failing execs, it's no wonder that big business in America has lost some of its sheen. The only surprising thing is exactly how far the reputation of some industries has fallen. When Harris Interactive asked 25,000 America consumers what they thought of various industries and companies, the results were extraordinarily bleak, especially for the automobile and financial industries.

Only eleven percent of respondents had anything good to say about finance, the same percentage who have a favorable view of big tobacco. The automobile industry was hit by the greatest decline in its standing in the ten year history of the survey, with GM now 58th on a list of 60 companies. The technology industry, however, can celebrate being the most respected sector. Some individual companies also continue to enjoy goodwill from customers. The top ten most respected are:

  1. Johnson & Johnson
  2. Google
  3. Sony
  4. Coca-Cola
  5. Kraft Foods
  6. Amazon.com
  7. Microsoft Corporation
  8. General Mills
  9. 3M Company
  10. Toyota
AIG can take cold comfort in the fact that they're not the absolute lowest on the list â€" that spot still belongs to Enron. More complete findings are available here.

The Question: Which companies are over-rated by respondents? Which undervalued?

(Image of crashed toy plane by weegeebored, CC 2.0)

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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.