Alcohol, tobacco and oil groups dominate the top ten of a new ‘Web100’ index compiled by TLG.
The agency’s digital arm compiled the index following its own research, which found that opinion-formers regard official websites as the most important digital source of information about companies – ahead of online news sites, Twitter feeds and Facebook pages.
The websites of the UK’s leading listed companies were rated according to how well they serve five key audiences: investors, employees, journalists, NGOs and relevant local communities.
SABMiller, whose beer brands include Peroni and Coors, scored highly because of its ‘detailed, well laid-out and intuitive’ sections on corporate responsibility.
Pearson, publisher of the Financial Times, came second, with GlaxoSmithKline in third place. Shell’s engaging blog content, unusual in the corporate sector, helped it to finish fourth.
Inmarsat, the mobile satellite group, came bottom of the index. It was marked down for its site’s lack of scope and awkward navigation.
Many of the companies with the best websites were those that have been forced to respond to sustained criticism from opinion-formers. For example, in recent years, GSK has been attacked over the way it markets medicines in the developing world and Shell has faced criticism over its environmental record.
Greg Jackson, head of TLG’s digital arm, said: ‘The web is overwhelmingly the first place opinion-formers look for information.
‘All the sites provided an adequate service to shareholders. What marked out the better ones was the way in which they communicated their agendas on sustainability and corporate responsibility. Some of the best sites borrowed from the NGOs that shadow them by hosting interactive blogs with well thought-out content.’