Poll finds corporate reputations improving, but still low

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New York—The American public’s perception of corporations is improving but is still extremely negative overall, according to the results of a Harris Interactive poll released Monday.

The “Reputation Quotient” poll, conducted online between December and February, measured the reputations of the 60 most visible companies in the U.S. It found that the percentage of Americans saying that corporate America’s reputation is “good” increased to 18% from 12%. That is the first positive move in four years, according to poll.

At the same time, the percentage of Americans seeing corporate America’s reputation as “not good” or “terrible” was 81%—an improvement from 88% in last year’s study.

Six companies received a score over 80, which is considered to be an “excellent” reputation. Berkshire Hathaway took the top spot, with a rating of 82.33%, followed by Johnson & Johnson, Google Inc., 3M Co., S.C. Johnson & Son. and Intel Corp.

The bottom nine companies on the list all received federal government bailouts. They are: Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., General Motors Corp., Chrysler, Goldman Sachs Group, Citigroup Inc., Fannie Mae, AIG and Freddie Mac, which was rated 38.94%, the lowest percentage since Enron scored 30.05% in 2005.

Harris polled 29,963 people for the report.

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