Only two in 10 people say Corporate America has a “very good” reputation, according to the latest Harris Interactive poll measuring companies’ “Reputation Quotient”, or RQ.
Not surprisingly. the five companies with the best reputations are Apple, Google, Amazon.com, Coca-Cola and Kraft Foods.
Also not surprising are the companies at the bottom. “Bank of America, AIG and Goldman Sachs find themselves in dangerous territory, occupying the same … space that defunct companies occupied in years past before expiring,” the survey reports.
One interesting footnote: “Berkshire Hathaway, 2010 RQ winner, falls by 7 points and slides from 4th place in 2011 to 24th in 2012.” Looks like that little ol’ stock scandal took the storied company down a few notches. Click here to read my column on that.
Once a company loses some of it’s reputation, it’s hard to get it back, particularly in a grueling economic malaise.
“Corporations are facing significant headwinds as they try to win and preserve consumer trust, said Robert Fronk, executive vice president and Global Corporate Reputation Practice Lead for Harris Interactive.
Click here for a press release on the survey. And click here for a slide show highlighting survey results.
Posted by Al Lewison February 10, 2012 Trends /
You’re broke. You can’t get a job. You lost your home to foreclosure. And your credit card bills are staggering.
What are you doing buying a pricey Valentine’s Day gift?
“Being fiscally responsible on Valentine’s Day does not have to be unromantic,” said David Jones, President, Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies. “If you simply take the time to think first, you can determine how to convey your Valentine message without overspending.”
The group advises people to spend with their brains instead of their hearts. Here are a few of its tips:
* “Cook dinner at home rather than going out.” (Hamburger Helper is for lovers, too.)
*”Give a gift of service rather than flowers or jewelry. “(Yeah, like rub my back, will ya?)
* “Schedule quality time together after Valentine’s Day rather than overspending at the last minute.” (I spend so much time running around retail hell looking for the right thing, I don’t have time for a romantic dinner, anyway.)
I say Valentine’s Day is really just a scheme to sell greeting cards, flowers, chocolates and jewelry. Don’t be distracted by the temporal things in life. Stay the course. And when you get it together, remember: It’s so much easier to celebrate Halloween.
A lot of things seem to have gone unnoticed in the story of Heather Peters, who made national headlines for beating Honda in small-claims court.
She’s not only a lawyer, but a former member of the Arnold Schwarzenegger administration, who knows how to deal with big companies and big issues. Honda stepped into a public relations nightmare when it decided not to settle with her over the issues with her car.
Honda is now trying to appeal an embarrassing judgment that Peters won in small claims court, claiming her 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid did not get the 50 mpg Honda advertised. She says it gets more like 30 mpg.
The car maker is taking the case to an appellate court where it can deploy its corporate lawyers. One reason Peters thrashed Honda so soundly was because lawyers aren’t allowed to represent others in small claims court. Honda was totally outgunned.
After chatting with Peters for quite some time, I found her to be a woman who can back up every claim she makes. She’s got documents for just about everything she says and pulls them out quickly.
She’s not going to be beaten easily in court, even by a whole team of far more powerful lawyers. And even if she does lose, what has she lost? A $9,867 judgment that Honda hasn’t paid her yet, anyway?
This is going to be like watching a bunch of big corporate thugs beat up on a woman who they should be treating as a customer. If they win, they will only look like bullies. But if they lose, they will really look like wimps.
Who’d want that job? Sure makes me glad I never went to law school.
That’s the unfortunate trajectory for an increasing number of young Americans and older workers retraining themselves since the big one hit the economy in 2008. A report released today from the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys says four out of five bankruptcy attorneys have seen an increase in clients with student loan debt. Click here to see the survey.
“This could very well be the next debt bomb for the U.S. economy,” said William E. Brewer, Jr., president, National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys. “The amount of student borrowing crossed the $100 billion threshold for the first time in 2010 and total outstanding loans exceeded $1 trillion for the first time last year. ”
Sometimes no amount of education can overcome an economy that isn’t producing enough jobs. We’re a nation sacked with debt.
Posted by Al Lewison February 06, 2012 Autopia /
General Motors’ post-apocalypse Super Bowl commercial, with the survivors of the Mayan Calendar prophecy all driving Chevy Silverado trucks, was a big hit with just about everyone but Ford Motor Co.
Ford didn’t think it was funny. It takes issue with the claim that Chevy makes “the longest lasting, most dependable truck on the road.”
If you think about it, the last time the apocalypse came, GM went bankrupt and needed a government bailout, while Ford survived, mostly on its own. (I say, mostly, because it did benefit indirectly from the auto bailouts, as well as from Cash for Clunkers, but Ford did not need a bankruptcy restructuring or a direct bailout.) GM has already proven it can’t survive an apocalypse.
Click here to read more about Ford’s beef with the GM commercial.
But I am glad one of America’s biggest corporations think its funny that the world as we know it is predicted to end on Dec. 21, 2012. Why didn’t advertisers think of doing this during the height of the Cold War? You’ve been blown to pieces, the roads are all buried, but at least you’ve got a Chevy. Or hey, why not show fake videos of Chevys scrambling out of the debris clouds of 9/11?
I am counting down the days in my Toyota Prius. When the apocalypse comes, we might not be driving anything. Meantime, advertisers can use end-of-the-world scenarios to sell products.
Click here to see me talk about Super Bowl advertising with Matt Flener of Denver’s NBC affiliate, 9News.
It’s still too early to know how Facebook’s initial public stock offering is going to fare.
It hasn’t been priced, and we don’t really know what market conditions are going to look like later in the year.
This hasn’t stopped analysts and media wonks like me from speculating. In today’s Sunday Wall Street Journal I compare some of the ideas I had about Google, before it’s 2004 IPO, to some of the observations people are making about Facebook today.
I particularly liked MarketWatch columnist Chuck Jaffe’s take, “Why Face book is likely todo a Face-Plant,” particularly where he asks, knowing what we know about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, would you really want to be his business partner?
Still, I am predicting a successful IPO for Facebook, mostly because I think demand will outstrip supply for the stock when it is launched. Besides how many companies have a Hollywood movie made about them before they go public?
Click here to read my column in the Sunday Wall Street Journal.