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Stocks  | March 8, 2019

Facebook’s reputation took a long dive over the past year, staggering under an avalanche of controversies, a new Harris Poll survey in partnership with Axios has found.

Why it matters: Other tech giants, including Google and Apple, have seen their reputations decline as well. But Facebook’s drop in the Axios Harris Poll 100, a new partnership between Axios and Harris Poll, is in a class of its own — suggesting that the social network may be uniquely vulnerable to a loss of public confidence.

My take: Facebook’s turn in the barrel. As for Apple, I said everything I have to say about its diminished reputation quotient last year.

From The rise and sudden fall of Apple’s brand reputation:

In 2009, two years after Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, Apple was ranked No. 14 in the Harris Poll’s annual RQ (reputation quotient) survey. By 2012, it was No. 1 and it remained one of top 5 U.S. brands for four out of the next five years.

But something about the Apple brand soured last year, according to Harris. Between 2017 and 2018 the company Jobs co-founded fell from 5th place to 29th, the biggest one-year fall from grace in percentage terms of any U.S. company except Johnson & Johnson.

From: I have a theory.

The survey period—Dec. 11, 2017 to Jan. 12, 2018—was hardly a valley for Apple news. The problem, I think, was the news itself:

  • Apple prices new iPhones at $1,000-plus
  • Apple opens new $5 billion-plus corporate headquarters
  • Apple enjoys a $163 billion repatriation tax windfall
  • Apple is surrounded by the usual fog of fear, uncertainty and doubt

If I didn’t know better, I’d think that Apple came across to the 25,800 U.S. adults Harris surveyed as too rich and too greedy.

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