WASHINGTON: Companies with hot new products or services garnered the most favorable media coverage in the first half of this year, while those plagued with business scandals received the most negative coverage, according to a survey by Carma International.
Carma found that NBC, thanks to the Olympics, Friends, good ratings overall, and increasing coverage of CNBC, topped its list for favorable news coverage from January 1 to June 30.
Next came General Motors, which received positive product reviews, positive coverage of expansion into China, and favorable coverage of its increasing plant efficiency, said Elizabeth Smith, COO of Carma.
Sony ranked third thanks to its blockbuster movie Spider-Man, and positive coverage of its PlayStation2 and a new cellular phone model it makes.
Apple was fifth thanks to its new iMac and iPod mp3 player; Honda rounded out the top 10 with its hybrid gas-electric car.
"New products doing well helps get favorable coverage, Smith said. "All of these companies tended to maximize the type of exposure they were getting."
Good service also merited positive coverage, she added. Wal-Mart ranked fourth based on its solid reputation. "They continue to be positioned as an industry and corporate leader, Smith said. Wal-Mart's continued expansion into the grocery business also factored into its positive media.
Dell made the list at number seven because of favorable coverage of its marketing campaign featuring the Dell Guy. Dell was also repeatedly mentioned as a company that would benefit from the HP-Compaq merger, Smith explained.
CBS got positive coverage for keeping David Letterman, and for its reality series Survivor.
The 10 companies getting the most negative coverage predictably reads like a who's who of corporate management misdeeds and operational failures.
Enron topped the list, followed by its former accountant Andersen. WorldCom, another former Andersen client, was third, followed by another troubled telecom, Global Crossing.
Tyco International, whose accounting woes have also cast a harsh spotlight on it, was next, followed by bankrupt Kmart.
Merrill Lynch, mired in controversy over analyst stock recommendations, came next, followed by another troubled telecom, Qwest Communications.
Carma found the share prices of the 10 companies with the most negative coverage dropped significantly in the first half of the year. Share price for the positive 10 either stayed the same or went up slightly.
However, Smith said she couldn't draw any conclusion about the relationship between positive media coverage and share price. "We'd love to say that the media drives share price, but we have to be careful when we do that, she said.
2 General Motors
5 Apple Computer
8 Fox Entertainment Group
9 CBS Television Network
10 Honda Motor Company
2 Andersen Worldwide
4 Global Crossing
5 Tyco International
7 Merrill Lynch
8 Qwest Communications
10 Bristol-Myers Squibb
SOURCE: Carma International