YouGov: Apple’s reputation tougher than GE’s based on recent tax avoidance ‘scandal’

“Apple is virtually ‘Teflon’ in public reputation in the US, at least in the context of recent ‘diverted taxes’ revelations, and especially compared to last year’s GE ‘zero tax bill’ scandal,” Ted Marzilli reports for YouGov BrandIndex.

“Apple’s consumer reputation has barely budged since the Sunday April 29th New York Times story revealing that the company avoids paying taxes in its home state of California and 20 other states,” Marzilli reports. “On the other hand, when the same newspaper revealed GE reaped $14.2 billion in worldwide profits in 2010, yet paid zero taxes in the U.S. and claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion, the reaction was more pronounced and longer: the company’s reputation took a steep drop and two months to recover to pre-crisis levels.”

Marzilli reports, “Apple and GE were measured with YouGov BrandIndex’s Reputation score, which asks respondents: ‘Would you be proud or embarrassed to work for this brand?’ Apple’s reputation score actually went up modestly from 52 to 58 a few days after the New York Times story broke on April 29, 2012. Its current score is 51, only slightly below where it was when their tax strategy was revealed. GE was punished more severely by U.S. consumers: its reputation was 33 on March 24, 2011, when the New York Times published its tax exposé. One day later, it was down to 23 and in one week’s time, they had a 14 score. As stated earlier, it took two months for GE to get back to a 33 reputation score.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Looks like respondents, unlike the New York Times, can readily tell the difference between fact and blatantly obvious fiction when it comes to “scandals.”

Related articles:
Republican Senator Coburn ‘livid’ over New York Times’ report about Apple taxes – May 1, 2012
Rush Limbaugh: New York Times targeting Apple; latest hit piece based on erroneous tax data – April 30, 2012
Does Apple know how to use its money better than the U.S. federal government? – April 30, 2012
Apple a bigger global power and more important than most nations – April 30, 2012
The New York Times blows it again: Incorrectly reports Apple’s tax rate – April 30, 2012
Apple to The New York Times: We are among the top payers of U.S. income tax – April 29, 2012
The New York Times: How Apple sidesteps billions in global taxes – April 28, 2012
The New York Times blows it, gets Apple CEO Tim Cook’s earnings spectacularly wrong – April 9, 2012


  1. Apple’s reputation is not teflon. If they do something truly wrong, those of us that love them will turn on them in an instant.

    When you criticize specifically Apple basically for doing business in an increasingly competitive world and offer slander, lies, and innuendo as your basis, no one cares. We are becoming more sophisticated when dealing with the media. Surprise surprise.

    I don’t care whether we’re leftists or right wing, we know a media rape job when we see one.

    Speaking of which, I highly recommend seeing:

    It’s about the media and how they treated Sarah Palin during the last Presidential election. I don’t care what you think of her, what you think of Republicans, what you think of Obama, and all the crap we normally argue about. Just watch this. You are free to keep hating Palin, it’s not about that, but about how *THEY* try to tell us what to think and steal elections themselves.

    I’m really disgusted with the media today.

    1. What the mainstream media did to Palin was a high tech lynching, that much is sure.

      Regardless of what you think of Palin (if it’s extremely negative, you’ve been played) it should worry us all.

      Attempting to destroy someone because you don’t agree with their ideas is the same as shooting them. Either come up with better ideas or convince people that your ideas are better. Don’t stoop to enlisting sympathetic SNL players and network news readers as (character) assassins.

      In the 2008 election, Palin (VP candidate) was markedly more experienced in governing than the presidential candidate Obama.

      1. Surely, you jest. Palin is an incompetent person who was in way over her head. She has no one but herself to blame for how things turned out. Besides, I think she got what she wanted; money and celebrity and no real responsibility.

        1. Pawn, I mean “John,”

          You’ve been manipulated. You also have no idea what Palin wanted or wants. You do not know the woman, only the caricature.

        2. And, yet, your response changes nothing about the fact that in the 2008 election, Palin (VP candidate) was markedly more experienced in governing than the presidential candidate Obama.

        3. My granny has had more experience at running things than this Obama oaf. Sarah Palin would have had this country back on its feet by now – if only she could have removed that old imposter John McCain.

        4. You really ought to learn a bit about Woodrow Wilson before you go quoting him. He’s not someone to look up to.


        5. Yes, and you saying that makes it so, right? What arrogance. It why we laugh at your cynicism, anger and absolute certainty that you have all the answers.

          “The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”
          ~John Kenneth Galbraith

      2. I didn’t need anybody to tell me that Palin was a vapid, clueless teleprompter jockey(even moreso than politicians usually are, I mean) to arrive at that conclusion. I just had to listen to her speak.

        Pretending that she failed because TEH MEDIA assassinated her character is some amazingly shameless revisionist history. Are we forgetting that the entire Republican party, along with the most watched cable news channel, tried their hardest to downright canonize her?

        But no, no, let’s blame outside forces for causing Palin to flounder. Denying personal responsibility for your own failure and blaming somebody else certainly isn’t a pandemic problem in this county.

    2. The media personality who did the most damage to Sarah Palin was Sarah Palin.

      The same goes for most of the losers in the GOP primary follies. Perry couldn’t put two sentences together when given the chance, and both Bachmann and Cain made no sense whenever THEY were given a chance.

      But you know who got the most negative coverage during the primary season, at least according to a Pew Poll? Obama.

      Read it and weep.

    3. The entire Nation of America has been played.
      Its called an inside job. And the rich stock-boy-club-criminals are reaping the country without being accountable.
      The Fall of America will happen and sadly the regular people are the ones to feel it most.

  2. If I read between the lines of the report, I realize that the amount of money Apple saved could make a huge difference in R&D in Apple, could pay to create more data centers and hire more people, but if handed over to the Federal Government, it wouldn’t pay one day’s interest on our national debt. My personal feeling is that they deserve a bigger tax break. Try something unusual. Tell them that if they start manufacturing in the U.S. they will get tax breaks that will make it worth their while. Don’t just keep trying to confiscate the revenue they’ve generated.

    1. I don’t like it either when the media can get away scott free with impunity writing obvious and not so obvious bogus articles with manipulated and incorrect information to mislead. They need a solid slap upside the head financially to keep them on the straight and narrow path of truth, justice and the American way.

  3. Bandera? Maybe you mean vendetta? Zorro conducted a vendetta against the Spanish and he was played by Antonio Banderas in some movies so maybe that’s how you get to bandera?

  4. Sensationalism ; Journalism 101. Goes on everyday somewhere in the world. Actually everywhere in the world. Apple is the target because they’re the biggest bullseye out there. In a couple months it will be someone else in the barrel. It’s nothing personal it’s just journalism at its worst. Has gone on for centuries and will go on forever. Fear not fanboys, poor little Apple will survive. Intelligent people can tell what’s bullshit and what’s not. The rest buy pc’s.

  5. The main difference between Apple and GE — they both avoided taxes through perfectly legal means — is that GE had no reserve of goodwill with the public, while Apple has tons. Apple has loyal fans and willing customers. GE has customers.

    Ever since GE bought NBC and made a mess of the TV business, the public perception of the whole conglomerate has suffered. You can’t compare the two based on an unscientific YouGov poll (I fill those out regularly).

  6. Ideally, it would be a good idea to look at the root problem of this whole tax scheme.

    The real question is: Why do companies feel the need to avoid state taxes? Could it be the reckless spending habits of our existing legislatures? Could it be the system is broken and just doesn’t work that well?

  7. GE has a very long term reputation for making crap, manipulating customers as well as the financial market and polluting the hell out of the environment where I live, New York State. Their pollution rate has been second only to Kodak.

    Therefore, it’s nothing new to justifiably bash on GE. Whereas, it is nothing new to UNjustifiably bash on Apple. Anti-Apple troll HATE is perennial. Therefore, for Apple fanatics the attitude is ‘Oh great, more Apple hate’ followed by a yawn.

    No comment regarding taxes except to say that my government is a catastrophic mess of waste and that NO political party has a clue how to clean it up, especially the ‘Starve The Beast’ crazies.

  8. I used to believe everything I read in the New York Times, but now that they’re in the stock manipulation business, I don’t believe their news. Why does the nytimes have an obvious anti-apple bias? Because steve jobs hated suits and apple will be perpetually screwed over by suited fuckffarts.

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