11 January 2011

Survey says: BP, McDonalds among America's most hated companies of 2010

Looks like people are not feeling a whole lot of love towards McDonald’s these days. In a survey by the website 24/7 Wall Street, an online financial news service, the junk food giant landed in the top fifteen most hated companies along with other several other firms feeling recent consumer backlash, such as BP and Toyota.

According to the authors of the survey, McDonald’s is "among the most savagely criticized firms," by health care and consumer advocates for their unhealthy food and business practices, which include giving away toys to entice children to consume their products. McDonald’s also ranked in the bottom 10% of the American Customer Satisfaction Index among 181 firms across all industries measured in the poll.

So far the bad PR hasn’t hurt McDonald’s bottom line, as the company continues to show a profit and their share price has risen. However, growing concern over the obesity epidemic and the rise in serious diseases related to high fat and calorie diets will start to shift consumer practices over time, the survey's authors say, especially if there is a “sin tax” placed on these foods.

Oil giant British Petroleum also showed up on the list due to the oil disaster in the gulf which killed 11 people and spilled 4.9 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Former CEO Tony Hayward intensified negative public opinion about the company with his self-pitying "I want my life back" remark made at the height of the crisis.

The remaining thirteen companies on the list of shame are: American Airlines, Nokia, Toyota, Best Buy, Charter Communications, Citigroup, AT&T, Bank of America, Dell, Dish Network, Johnson & Johnson, United Airlines, and DirecTV.

The list was compiled using data collected from consumer and employee polls, stock market performance and media coverage.

Robin Lawless | @robmlaw | email
Robin lives in New York City where she loves to check out all the vegan eateries. When she's not writing for TDIV, Robin enjoys taking dance lessons, reading, practicing yoga, hanging out with her cat Maggie, baking vegan treats, and volunteering at Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Feel free to add Robin as a friend on Facebook.

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