Reputation monitor: M&S stays up as scandal hits futures broker Refco

Marks & Spencer was top of Reputation Monitor for the second consecutive week.

It continued to garner positive City coverage for its financial recovery, despite predictions of doom and gloom in the retail sector.

Ladbrokes, which plans to expand outside Europe, came second. It was also a good week for its UK parent, Hilton Group, whose share price reached a five-year high after a takeover of its hotels arm was mooted by Hilton Hotels Corporation.

At the other end of the table, futures broker Refco faced the scorn of Wall Street after allegations that it hid $430m (£245m) of bad debts from shareholders. Former CEO Phillip Bennett was charged in a US court last week.

Meanwhile, stockbroker JPMorgan Cazenove lost two clients – Marks & Spencer and the British Airways Authority – on the same day.

The Ministry of Defence made headlines when ever-tightening budgets were blamed for the Army's reliance on out-of-date kit.

M&C Saatchi's loss of the £60m British Airways advertising account to Bartle Bogle Hegarty put it in the bottom five. The agency hit back with a paid-for page in The Times displaying a series of classic BA ads. The caption read 'Now taking new airline bookings'.

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

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