On a list of America’s most hated companies, is it surprising to find the world’s largest social networking site?
It’s no shock to see a couple of banks (one facing fraud action), a bankrupt airline and a troubled telco in the rankings, published by equity markets news site 247wallst.com.
But is Facebook really that on the nose?
The 247wallst.com rankings are judged on financials, profits and brand perceptions, so there’s a high degree of interpretation involved. They do say a lot, however, about how big businesses impact on the public.
Facebook has 800 million users whose interactions with it, and each other, reach into the billions each week. It would be strange if something that ubiquitous didn’t rub a significant proportion of the globe’s population the wrong way.
Constant privacy issues and relentless format changes, however, have conspired to upset users and cement Facebook’s place on the hated scale.
The real bolter on the list is Johnson & Johnson, an iconic brand best known in Australia for its trusted range of baby products. By comparison, its pharmaceutical arm, Janssen-Cilag, barely has a profile here.
In the US, J&J has taken a battering from a string of recent product recalls and quality control issues that resulted in the FDA moving in on three of its plants.
Those woes really stem as far back as the Tylenol poisoning issue of 1986, which is now viewed as a
watershed for pharma industry anti-tampering measures and a PR text book case study.
The PR lessons are obvious: You’re never too big to take a fall and if you take your eye off your reputation and fail to invest strategically in your brand, major damage is only one crisis away.
The list (not in order) is below and the 247wallst.com commentary is here.
Bank of America
Johnson & Johnson