Google tops corporate reputation list


GOOGLE HAS been named the most reputable organisation in Ireland for the third consecutive year in the annual RepTrak study published by public relations firm Corporate Reputations and the international consultancy Reputation Institute.

Kerry Group, Apple, Cadbury and Volkswagen make up the top-five most reputable companies, according to the study, which ranks 101 of the largest and most visible organisations in Ireland and is based on the responses of 3,720 people.

The Irish Times Ltd was judged the seventh most reputable indigenous company and was ranked 24th overall, up from 42nd in the 2011 study.

Food group Kerry claimed the title of most reputable indigenous company. It was followed by Eason Son, with Dairygold, Arnotts, Bord na Móna, Smyths Toys, The Irish Times, Superquinn, An Post and Musgrave Group rounding out the indigenous top 10.

Bookseller Eason also came sixth in the overall top 10, with the rest of the places filled by Kellogg, Boots, Marks Spencer and Intel.

Apple climbed three places to third spot, while handset manufacturer Nokia slipped from fourth place to 11th. Others on the wane in the tech sector included Microsoft, down from 19th to 31st.

More than three-quarters of the firms measured saw their reputation fall over the last 12 months. Google was the only firm to score more than 80 points out of a possible 100, a feat achieved by six companies last year.

The organisations’ reputations were assessed on the basis of performance, innovation, leadership, products and services, governance, workplace and citizenship.

Tobacco firm John Player Sons was ranked bottom, below Ryanair, Bank of Ireland, AIB and the Quinn Group.

Financial services firms on the whole did badly, with the sector remaining the least trusted, although it did improve on the year before. The highest-ranked financial services firm was FBD.

Overall, 11 of the 15 main industries represented in the study saw their reputations fall.

As a group, food manufacturing companies are the most trusted, admired and respected in Ireland, and enjoy the greatest amount of support from consumers, the study found. Aside from Kerry, high-ranked organisations here include Cadbury (part of Kraft Foods), Kellogg and Dairygold.

Corporate Reputations managing director Niamh Boyle said consumers were as much concerned about the companies behind the products and services they purchase as they were about the products and services themselves.

“The rules of engagement have changed and stakeholders now watch everything that a company does – from the way it treats its workforce, whether it behaves ethically and supports good causes to its leadership and financial results. It is simply not an option to sit out this quarter or ignore industry threats.”