Annual reports cited as most credible source of corporate info

NEW YORK: TheStreet.com and CBS Marketwatch may have become household names, but a new study has revealed that an old standby - the trusty annual report - remains the most trusted source for corporate financial information.

NEW YORK: TheStreet.com and CBS Marketwatch may have become household names, but a new study has revealed that an old standby - the trusty annual report - remains the most trusted source for corporate financial information.

NEW YORK: TheStreet.com and CBS Marketwatch may have become

household names, but a new study has revealed that an old standby - the

trusty annual report - remains the most trusted source for corporate

financial information.



The study was conducted by the PRSA Foundation, which will unveil its

financially oriented National Credibility Index (NCI) on Wednesday. The

NCI, compiled from a Columbia University survey of 1,002 adults,

examines the sources that the public finds most credible when looking

for company news.



The study showed a major disparity between what people say and what they

do. While the annual report was ranked as the most credible source of

corporate information, only 8% of respondents said they go directly to

the balance sheets for information.



Respondents put down the credibility of Web sites - out of 38 sources,

business Web sites and online trading sites ranked 26th and 28th,

respectively.



However, 26% of respondents said the Internet was the place they most

often looked for information.



’The credibility results do not reflect the world we live in,’ said

Edelman president Richard Edelman, noting that public libraries were

considered a more credible source of information than TV news. ’An

annual report is so old. People are making split-second investment

decisions based on what they see on TV and the Web.’



TV advertising and infomercials rated at the bottom of the credibility

list, thus underlining the message from this year’s Super Bowl:

companies should think hard before throwing their cash at Madison

Avenue.



’Even corporate newsletters rate higher than advertising,’ said PRSA

Foundation Board secretary Clarke Caywood.



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