NORWALK, CT: Favorable news about Microsoft last year helped the computer giant earn the top spot on the 2004 Delahaye Index, an assessment of how news media coverage affects corporate reputation.
The Walt Disney Co. tumbled to the fourth spot after being at the top of the listing for 2003.
Despite bad press last year about workplace bias and union issues, Wal-Mart managed to rise from the seventh spot on the 2003 list to third on the 2004 list.
KC Brown, SVP at Delahaye, said that even in articles about its competitors, Wal-Mart was consistently mentioned as the leader in the retail category, something that contributed to its ranking.
"Everybody is trying to compete with them," said Brown. "They are absolutely the standard setter."
The index includes analysis of print and broadcast items to measure reputations of the top 100 US companies. The index is developed on a quarterly basis.