JPMorgan jumped 30 places in the rankings between Q4 2007 and Q1 2008, landing in the second spot. Its upward move was aided by its "perceived save" of Bear Stearns, according to Wayne Bullock, SVP of analysis services for Cision. Likewise, he said, Bank of America saw its reputation soar 79 places to eighth place because of its acquisition of Countrywide, the ailing mortgage company.
"There are a lot of different stories in the financial sector," Bullock said. "These two had good stories being told in Q1."
Other financial services companies whose reputations made positive strides were Goldman Sachs (up to 12th) and Lehman Brothers, which rose from 53 to 19 based on a better-than-expected earnings report.
The retail sector felt an opposite effect, with most companies taking a tumble in reputation. Only Wal-Mart, which came in seventh, ranked in the top 10, due to its emphasis on low prices.
"[Retail] was monolithic in the way it was portrayed," said Matt Merlin, senior research director at Cision. "Wal-Mart benefitted from consumers having to tighten up their spending."
Once again, the top spot went to Microsoft.
Cision's Corporate Media Reputation Index ranks the largest 100 US companies based on positive and negative reputation-driving attributes in nationwide daily media, as well as business and news magazines, such as The Wall Street Journal and Fortune.