INTERNATIONAL: Harris survey lays firms' reputations bare

ROCHESTER, NY: A company's reputation could have been affected by

how it responded to 11 September, as well as how it communicates its

charitable work, according to a survey by Harris Interactive.

The survey also showed a decline in the reputation of many technology


For the third year running, Johnson & Johnson was judged the most

reputable company in America, according to Harris's third annual

reputation quotient (RQ) survey.

Microsoft and Coca-Cola came in second and third, respectively, both

improving their positions from last year.

Harris first surveyed a group to find the 60 most nominated companies,

and then polled 21,630 people online to rank those 60 companies

mid-October last year.

Last year's survey ranked only 45 firms in the final poll.

Bridgestone/Firestone was ranked last in terms of reputation - as it was

last year - and Philip Morris was second to last.

Harris reputation practice SV-P and director Joy Sever said one of the

problems companies have in relation to reputation is that 'there is a

lack of information that people have about what corporations are doing

in the way of good deeds'.

Attitudes towards companies' responsiveness to 11 September were also

evaluated. The result was that many of those surveyed gave favourable

ratings to firms in areas such as emotional appeal, financial

performance, products, vision, and social responsibility.

Bucking the downward moves of many tech companies was one surprising


Hewlett-Packard, which last year ranked 20th, this year leapt to seventh

place overall.

Dell also showed significant gains, moving from 25th to 13th. But

Lucent, Gateway, and IBM all finished lower down the table.

Edited by Holly Williams.

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