The Ethical Index is out. It is a survey among 1,000 UK consumers about the ethical reputation of 50 companies. The survey is conducted by The Fraser Consultancy and this is the second year that they have done it.
Karen Fraser writes that nearly 50% of UK consumers buy products that they disapprove of on ethical grounds. She calls them “conflicted consumers.” They are similar to what we call “swing voters” in the US. Swing voters are the ones who could go either way in an election and constitute a sizeable voting/purchasing bloc. They are usually well worth getting on your side.
The top 10 companies with the most ethical reputations in 2007 are:
The Body Shop
Marks & Spencer
A few observations:
1. Interesting that BP is much further down the list. Presumably the events of the past two years have dampened their ethical reputation.
2. American Express is also farther down the list. I wonder if this has to do with anti-Americanism.
3. In the survey, the industries with the worst reputations are: oil and fuel production, banking and financial services, and clothing and fashion.
Ethical reputations are increasingly important in the world of reputation. They rival the growing interest in corporate social responsibility among companies. We can expect to hear more about companies trying to show that they have integrity and moral values in the near future.
Will unethical companies have scarlet R’s one day?
Ethical reputation, Ethical Index, Fraser Consultancy, 10 most ethical companies, BP, American Express, oil and fuel production, banking and financial services, clothing and fashion industry, scarlet R, conflicted consumers, swing voters