It was to be expected that AIG (NYSE:AIG) would suffer the biggest drop in the Reputation Institute’s 2009 index, falling to 152 out of 153 companies. What is surprising is that Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) was one of eleven companies that increased its reputation score by 7 points or more “due to major improvements in stakeholder trust, admiration and respect.” Well, in the words of St Evermond, “Reputation is rarely proportioned to virtue.”
Johnson & Johnson IJNJ) moved up one spot to take the lead as the most reputable U.S. company on 2009 U.S Reputation Pulse, based on interviews in February and March. Kraft Foods (KFT), UPS (NYSE:UPS), General Mills (NYSE:GIS), and FedEx (NYSE:FDX) rounded out the top five U.S. companies in 2009, all with excellent reputations. Last year’s winner, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), fell to number eight and lost significant reputation capital. Dow Chemicals (NYSE:DOW) and Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) saw the largest gains in reputation, improving their Reputation Pulse scores by more than 12 points from 2008 to 2009.
As The Economist reports, Ferrero and Ikea edged out J&J for the top spot on a global basis. At least there were no banks in the top tier.