The company also benefited from favourable press coverage of a shake-up of its senior management. The changes, which saw the promotion of executive V-P Jim Padilla to chief operating officer, were announced as the company said it had doubled its net income for the first quarter to £1.64bn.
Japanese rival Toyota took third place after launching special edition red versions of its MR2 roadster and Celica cars.
Tesco kept the top spot for the third consecutive week after reporting a 17 per cent rise in sales.
The publication of law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell’s damning report on the crisis over Shell’s oil reserves pushed the company to the bottom of the table.
Shell’s problems also pulled Enron into the bottom five of the chart through comparisons made in articles on corporate governance.
Tesco’s ascendancy also prompted unfavourable comparisons with Sainsbury’s, which slipped two places to third from bottom.
It was also reported that 500 Sainsbury’s staff marched on the company’s Holborn Circus HQ in protest at a pay freeze.
The ranking is compiled from Thomson Intermedia’s National News Index, a measure of media sentiment that excludes stock market reports and passing mentions.
News Analysis, p17