Services expansion and cheap petrol boost Asda

Asda leapt to the top slot of this week’s Reputation Monitor following its decision to cut petrol prices and create hundreds of jobs through an expansion of its jewellery, photo centre and optician services.

The supermarket chain announced extra investment in 40 photo, 29 jewellery and 11 optician departments, creating 570 jobs.

Its decision to transfer the latest fall in global oil prices to consumers through a cost-cutting campaign for forecourt petrol was also welcomed by the media.

Tesco moved to second mainly through being juxtaposed to the problems at Sainsbury’s, which came bottom after announcing full-year profits will be below previous market forecasts.

Elsewhere in the top five, Virgin Mobile rose to third due to Richard Branson’s plan to float the firm.

The Automobile Association and parent company Centrica, which were ranked first and second respectively last week, remained in the top five.

Coverage centred around Centrica’s sale of the AA to CVC Capital Partners and Permira for £1.75bn.

Joining Sainsbury’s at the foot of the table was Marks & Spencer, which moved from third from bottom to second from bottom due to ongoing coverage of Philip Green’s attempts to take over the retail giant.

Safeway and Morrison’s also fared poorly after the latter delivered its first profit warning in 40 years and Safeway admitted a sales drop.

Reputation Monitor is compiled from Thomson Intermedia’s National News Index, a measure of media sentiment excluding stock market reports and passing mentions.

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