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What Are America’s 10 ‘Most Hated’ Brands? And Why?

Lord VoldemortToday we came across a list of “America’s 10 Most Hated Companies” courtesy of Ragan’s PR Daily and 24/7 Wall Street, which compiled the worst of the worst based on “stock performance, employee and customer satisfaction, and management decisions.”

We were intrigued, so we figured we’d peruse the list and see what we could make of it. What are these brands, and what did they do to offend the American public (and their investors) so badly?

Here they are, along with our past and present theories on why they suck:

  1. JC Penney: The brand clearly doesn’t listen to its customers (strike one). It consistently disappoints its investors (strike two). And while the Ellen Degeneres controversy was bad news, we think we can blame consistently poor management for strike three.
  2. Dish Network: Sure, they invent cool things sometimes, but customers and employees still hate them! They’re two for two!
  3. T-Mobile: The AT&T merger was the only thing that could have saved this “challenger brand.”
  4. Facebook: We don’t even know where to start
  5. Citigroup: We’re going to say the decision to fire 11,000 people right before Christmas had something to do with this one (but it’s probably just the investors again).
  6. Research In Motion, Ltd.: Do you know anyone who still owns a Blackberry? Neither do we.
  7. American Airlines: Poor public relations? Poor employee relations? Celebrity snafus? They’ve got it all, baby!
  8. Nokia: A phone company that fell behind on the smartphone trend? We don’t know if the world’s best PR can save them now.
  9. Sears: Well, we don’t think it’s the obnoxious Black Friday sales or the “poor” employee reviews…but it might have something to do with a gradual 60% stock drop and the graceless resignation of a CEO who couldn’t quite point the ship in the right direction.
  10. Hewlett-Packard: The “end of the PC” doesn’t bode well for one of its top two producers. Also: The company is notorious for awful management, and “accounting improprieties“–and employees who mention “misplaced priorities” don’t rate the experience very highly. All good things!

Note that this year’s list and last year’s list are very similar. Do we see a pattern developing here? Yes we do!

What do we think of this list, PR pros? Does it reflect upon poor PR/branding practices on behalf of these ten companies? Do they all deserve the notoriety?

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