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Goldman Sachs has managed to lift its reputation among consumers back to “pre-fraud suit levels,” according to the YouGov BrandIndex’s ongoing survey of 2.5 million people.
Goldman has been sued multiple times for its role in the sub-prime mortgage crisis, including a claim by the SEC in April 2010 that Goldman failed to disclose a $1 billion short bet on investments the ban was selling to its clients.
But in 2011, all (or at least a lot) was forgiven. Goldman was the fifth most-improved brand among consumers in the U.S. in 2011. Back in 2010, it was best-known as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money,” thanks to an infamous Rolling Stone article by Matt Taibbi.
YouGov formulates a brand’s “Buzz” score based on the question, “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?” Regarding Goldman, it said:Buzz scores fell 20 points during the financial crisis in 2008, with scores levelling out and starting recovery in 2009. However, Goldman experienced an even larger 30 point decline in April 2010 after being charged with a $1 billion fraud over sub prime mortgages. Goldman recovered some of their Buzz losses in 2010, but in 2011 the brand was able to lift Buzz back to pre-fraud suit levels.
The top most-improved brand was Toyota, coming off a damaging recall scandal. Here’s the full league table: