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Monday, February 13, 2012, 11:45 am PT (02:45 pm ET)

Apple takes top spot in Harris corporate reputation score

Apple has taken the top spot in a ranking of consumers' opinions of corporate reputation in the US, scoring higher than any other company has in the last 13 years.

The Harris Poll Reputation Quotient study noted that overall, consumers have indicated a negative trend in public perception, stating that the image of corporate America is "more tarnished today than a year ago."

Last year, 16 companies received a score denoting an "excellent reputation," while this year only 8 reached that measure. The study indicates that consumers are beginning to pay more attention to corporate leadership, and are increasingly researching companies themselves, not just their products, when making buying decisions.

Financial services and banking faired the worst, with AIG, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and JPMogan Chase competing with BP to fill out to fifth worst high profile companies in the US



Technology companies were ranked highest in general, with Apple moving from its fifth place score last year to first place, achieving a 85.62 score that is the highest a company has ever scored in the 13 years of the study. The top five companies were rounded out by Google, CocaCola, Amazon and Kraft Foods.



Apple also scored highest among four of six dimensions used to determine scores, including Financial Performance, Products & Services, Vision & Leadership and Workplace Environment. Amazon placed first in Emotional Appeal, while Whole Foods ranked highest in Social Responsibility.