Lansons CEO: society will force government to increase tax and pay transparency

Social pressure will mean Government will have to create new laws enforcing greater transparency on companies, according to Lansons CEO Tony Langham.

Government needs to 'make things more transparent', says Lansons CEO Tony Langham
Government needs to 'make things more transparent', says Lansons CEO Tony Langham

The boss of the agency said that to a great extent, media and civil society sets the standards of openness and fairness - rather than Government creating those standards on its own, and telling society why they are needed.

"The ingredient Goverment puts into the mix, and we believe will put into the mix in future years, is to make more things transparent, so to make the amount of tax paid more transparent, focus more on it, to make the cheif executive pay and the ratio of pay between men and women and the chief executives and the average worker more transparent," he said.

Langham said that what is seen as acceptable corporate behaviour today "probably wont be acceptable behaviour in five years time... we’ll see this continued ratcheting up, I think, of what constitutes good behaviour, certainly in open societies".

Langham was speaking on a podcast to discuss its client the Reputation Institute's latest RepTrak findings on the reputations of major companies, released last month.

PRWeek UK editor-in-chief Danny Rogers and Reputation Institute director Ed Coke also spoke on the podcast.

Rogers said that companies must communicate openly in order to avoid criticism, noting recent issues surrounding Facebook and Google. "One of the big criticisms of both brands is that they haven’t really responded to the criticism," he said, noting that Facebook reported the BBC to the police when it investigated groups on the network which showed sexualised images of children.

Of Google's response to the recent YouTube ad scandal, Rogers said: "It was weeks, really, before it had responded properly, and by then 300 advertisers had pulled their funding. I certainly think consumers these days expect companies to answer its criticism robustly and quickly."

Coke said he expected more proactive openness from companies in the future, citing the example of Mars warning people last year against consuming too much of its Dolmio sauces.

"I imagine that we would see more of those honest statements coming through over the next year, 18 months... maybe that’s the correct way forward for some of these companies to almost admit their failings and be not necessarily rewarded for it but certainly respected for it, rather than seeking to cover up," he said.

The Reputation Institute's research argues that corporate governance is now a bigger driver of company reputation than ever before

2017 UK RepTrak ranking
1 Dyson 11 Google
2 Aston Martin 12 Robert Bosch
3 Lego 13 Canon
4 Michelin 14 Panasonic
5 Sony 15 Clarks
6 Waitrose 16 Hilton Worldwide
7 Intel 17 Warburtons
8 PayPal 18 The Walt Disney Company
9 Samsung 19 Rolex
10 Rolls-Royce 20 Under Armour

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