Financial services get thumbs-down in study

Financial services groups received more unfavourable coverage for their marketing over the past quarter than any other type of organisation.

According to Presswatch, which monitors the levels of positive and negative press coverage of 1,500 companies, the bottom five companies in terms of coverage of their marketing were Fidelity, which scored -97, Prudential with -71, Abbey National at -58, Midland Bank at -54 and Legal & General at -52.

Ironically, however, the top-scoring five companies for positive press coverage of products were also financial services groups, which again included Fidelity.

The most favourable coverage for marketing was achieved by Virgin, which clocked up 206, Tesco at 135, Marks & Spencer at 101, Warner Brothers at 95 and Safeway at 91.

Tesco won more favourable coverage than any other company overall, according to the survey. It finished the quarter with a rating of 1,628 for the perceived strength of its competitive position, management, marketing, customer service and trading.

British Gas showed the greatest improvement in coverage across all categories, climbing 1,364 points from -1,769 in the final quarter of 1996 to -405 in the first quarter of 1997.

Factfile, page 33

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