May 14, 2021 - Technology

Most industries' reputations are rising, except Big Tech's

Harris 100 industry reputation scores
Data: Harris Poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Most industries' reputations are improving, according to the latest Axios/Harris 100 poll — but Big Tech is the big exception.

Driving the news: The financial services, telecom and pharmaceutical sectors all gained ground with the public this year, while the biggest tech companies saw their reputations erode.

  • Google was the biggest year-over-year decliner, followed by TikTok, Amazon and Facebook. Facebook's decline wasn't as large, because it ranked so poorly last year. Apple was the only major tech firm to improve its reputation.

Yes, but: The industry still tends to score higher overall than many other sectors. Media and telecom, for example, are improving, but from a pretty low starting point — they still have a long way to go to achieving net high reputation scores.

Details: According to the new data, the two biggest gainers in corporate reputation were financial services and consumer packaged goods.

  • Financial services companies like JPMorgan Chase & Co., State Farm Insurance, Goldman Sachs, Mastercard and others saw huge gains in response to the role they helped play in the country's financial recovery.
  • Pharma's reputation score got a big boost thanks to the addition of Moderna to the reputation 100 list and Pfizer's improving score. The sector would've probably been even higher this year, if it weren't for Johnson & Johnson's flat year over year performance.
  • Energy began to stabilize as a sector this year.
  • Media and telecom companies like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T saw strong saw gains as people became more reliant on broadband. Streaming firms like Netflix and Hulu saw some declines, in response to streaming fatigue.

The big picture: As Axios noted Thursday, "even though Americans were hyper-connected to their devices throughout the pandemic, their relationship with many of the world's biggest tech firms has continued on a downward trend, suggesting that people see their products as necessary evils."

Go deeper: See the full poll results and methodology

Go deeper