DIARY: FTSE Sindex to track firms with worst reputations

Time to throw all those 'PR for Beginners' textbooks onto the pyre,

with news that bad publicity does not a financial disaster make.

With the FTSE gearing up to launch its FTSE4Good indices in June,

investment mag Money Observer has countered with its own listing, the

'Footsie Sindex'.

The roster is comprised of firms whose behaviour is deemed reprehensible

because of engagement in damaging or anti-social practices (weapons or

instruments of war, products tested on animals, or manufacturing

processes adding to pollution or infringing human rights, etc).

The inevitable result is that the 'nasty' stocks have outperformed the

good 'uns over the last five years. Money Observer deputy editor David

Prosser admitted that as consumers 'we may want a greener future but are

not yet seeking out ethical companies.'

Astonishing proof, then, that unwaged child labour is better for

business than paying the minimum wage, and that depositing waste onto

the local pleasure beach cuts waste disposal costs. The battle for a bad

reputation begins here.

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