The New York Times published a story recently that attacks Apple for avoiding billions of tax dollars every year, but does it matter in the court of public perception? A new study says that Apple’s reputation score in the aftermath of the report remains relatively unscathed. Compare this to General Electric (GE), a company also reported to be avoiding paying their fair share of taxes. GE’s score dropped considerably in the same amount of time after a similar New York Times story on them last month.
Compared to GE? Apple’s Teflon.
To compare the two companies, pollster YouGov asked respondents: “Would you be proud or embarrassed to work for this brand?” The resulting scores are compared in the graph above. It’s clear that GE’s reputation score dropped from the low 30s to the high teens after five days. Apple’s actually went up a bit, then returned to the same level it was before the story was published.
Seems like being the cool kid on the block helps. What also helps, most likely, is Apple’s quick, plain spoken response, which can be paraphrased as, “umm, we pay a lot of taxes, guys. And jobs. We do those, too.” Being open and forthright helps, and anyway, it’s not like Apple’s alone in this: pretty much every company avoids taxes by exploiting loopholes. It’s the American way.