Reputation matters. Public perception impacts whether or not people will buy products, investment behaviour and more.
Many brands have seen their reputations shredded once again this year. BP is still ailing from its Deepwater Horizon disaster and big banks like JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America are still perceived as companies that hurt the economy.
Harris Interactive’s 2012 Reputation Quotient assessment evaluates the 60 “most visible” companies in the world.
Scores under 50.0 are considered “critical”—a category that once included now-defunct companies like Enron, WorldCom and Adelphia.
Chrysler scored 60.30 this year, up from 58.37 last year.
Chrysler's reputation improved from last year, bumping it six spots further away from the bottom of the list. Of the six car manufacturers on the 2012 list, it has the worst reputation by far (next is GM, 17th from the bottom).
ExxonMobil scored 60.01 this year, down from 61.09 last year.
ExxonMobil improved to 10th worst, though its score decreased slightly. Though it hasn't been in the news lately for a massive disaster like competitor BP, its consistently low ranking shows that people still don't trust energy companies.
Wells Fargo scored 59.5 this year, down from 66.15 last year.
Wells Fargo's big drop can be largely attributed to the country's continued economic struggles in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Still, there are five financial services companies that have worse reputations than it.
Comcast scored 59.1 this year, down from 62.05 last year.
Comcast's ranking dropped a bit in 2012, but competitor Time Warner shouldn't be laughing--it clocked in at 13th worst this year.
News Corp scored 57.14 this year, and was not measured last year.
News Corp's reputation has taken a beating since the PR catastrophe caused by the News of the World phone hacking scandal, landing it alongside even the most hated financial institutions.
Citigroup scored 55.95 this year, down from 57.45 last year.
Citigroup improved its ranking by two, but lost a few points on the index. But this year, it's no longer the lowest commercial bank on the Harris list.
JPMorgan Chase scored 54.84 this year, down from 61.15 last year.
JPMorgan Chase saw its score plummet in 2012, and it fell four spots in the rankings. It did manage to avoid 'critical' status, which Harris awards to companies with a score under 50.
BP scored 53.5 this year, up from 49.82 last year.
BP is still undergoing a period of brand rehab after its gigantic Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, but it's recovering fairly well and is no longer in the 'critical' zone marked by Harris. Of all the companies on the list, BP had the greatest improvement from last year in the social responsibility category.
Bank of America scored 49.85 this year, down from 58.93 last year.
Bank of America is one of three companies on the list that have earned 'critical' status from Harris this year, and is the lowest commercial bank on the list. Though it's suffering from the same perceptual issues as the other big banks, a debacle involving debit card fees took an extra bite out of its reputation.
Goldman Sachs scored 47.57 this year, down from 53.9 last year.
Goldman Sachs spent most of 2011 being demonized by the Occupy Wall Street movement, which helped bring its reputation down into the bottom-two.
AIG scored 46.18 this year, down from 47.77 last year.
AIG maintains its position in the gutter with the lowest score on this year's list. The public still sees it as one of the biggest players involved in the financial crisis, and as a poster child for egregious executive compensation.
NOW WATCH: Ideas videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.