Apple’s Image Tops Google’s

Johnson & Johnson, Berkshire Hathaway lose standing in annual reputation poll.

Apple Inc., burnished by the iPhone’s success and memorials to Steve Jobs, displaced Google Inc. as top company in Harris Interactive’s poll of corporate images. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Johnson & Johnson dropped.

Apple earned the highest score in the 13-year history of Harris’ survey of U.S. consumers, buoyed by the Cupertino, California-based company’s financial success and products like last year’s iPhone 4S, said Robert Fronk, the pollster’s executive vice president. The rise came even as corporate America’s reputation sank, hurt by sagging views of the financial industry, Harris said today in a statement.

View of J&J

While J&J, which sells products as varied as cancer drugs, Band-Aids and artificial hips, remained among the most reputable companies, there were worrisome signs that it no longer commanded respect on vision, leadership and emotional appeal, Fronk said. Consumers questioned one of J&J’s “bedrock strengths,” the idea that it can be counted on to “do the right thing,” Fronk said.

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