TVNewser AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Despite Lowering Bonuses, Goldman Sachs’ PR Woes Continue

lloyd-blankfein123.jpg

Goldman Sachs announced today its “richest quarterly profit in the investment bank’s 140-year history,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

Despite profits of $4.78 billion for Q4 2009 — more than JP Morgan, Merryl Lynch, Bank of America and Citigroup combined — the firm’s $16.2 billion in employee compensation was the “lowest ever compensation to net revenues ratio,” said CEO Lloyd Blankfein [pictured].

While $16 billion may be low for Goldman, it’s a fortune for anyone else. Will the move do anything to help the company’s reputation?


One shareholder, The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA), filed a lawsuit yesterday over the bonuses, saying Goldman employees are “unreasonably overpaid.”

“They still have a reputation problem,” said Scott Tangney, executive vice president and practice head of the financial and professional services divisions at agency Makovsky and Co. in a phone interview with PRNewser today. Tangney said the SEPTA lawsuit “is a big issue” because they are an institutional investor, and “that is the clients they service.”

“In an environment when you have 10% or more unemployment, and your next door neighbor has been out of work, is it really fair that a bank that did take government funding to help them make it through a very bad patch in last twelve months, that they make these types of profits? The American public is saying no,” he said.

Tangney’s remarks echo those of Burson-Marsteller CEO Mark Penn, who said in November that the financial services industry, specifically Goldman Sachs, “has a very big job ahead of it,” and “it’s going to take years to work through this.”

MORE: According to YouGov BrandIndex, a poll with 5,000 respondents, consumer sentiment of the company has trended down this month. To obtain the Goldman Sachs buzz score the poll asked respondents: “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, was it positive or negative?” On December 1st, their buzz score was -18.3. On January 1st, they were down to -24.4. As of yesterday, the score was -26.1.

Mediabistro Course

Mobile Content Strategy

Mobile Content StrategyStarting September 24, learn how to write content for smartphones, tablets, and mobile devices! In this online course, students will learn how to publish across multiple channels and manage the workflow, optimize content for mobile devices, and  engage with their audience across screens. Register now!