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At the turn of the millennium, Johnson & Johnson, benefiting from its heritage as the premier maker of baby powder and shampoo, enjoys the best corporate reputation among American firms according to a public-opinion study of corporate image. The research, made available exclusively to The Wall Street Journal, was conducted by Harris Interactive Inc. and the Reputation Institute, a New York research group. The nationwide survey of 10,830 people conducted online in August of 1999, is the first known effort to systematically probe a cross-section of Americans to determine the relative standing of business in the national psyche.
 
Among other things, the survey found that the average American pays little attention to profitability or stock performance when perceiving corporate character; and that reputations good or bad have real staying power. The rankings were determined by each company's "reputation quotient," a calculation based on how the public rated 20 attributes. Each respondent could offer an assessment of one or two of the 30 companies. In the end, each company was rated by an average of 445 people.
 
Here are the company's according to rank and Reputation Quotient (RQ):

 

 Rank
Company
RQ
 Rank
 Company
 RQ
 1.  Johnson & Johnson  83.4  16.  amazon.com  77.8
 2.  Coca-Cola  81.6  17.  IBM  77.6
 3.  Hewlett-Packard  81.2  18.  Sony  77.4
 4.  Intel  81.0  19.  Yahoo!  76.9
 5.  Ben & Jerry's  81.0  20.  AT&T  75.7
 6.  Wal-Mart  80.5  21.  FedEx  75.7
 7.  Xerox  79.9  22.  Procter & Gamble  71.9
 8.  Home Depot  79.7  23.  Nike  71.3
 9.  Gateway  78.8  24.  McDonald's  71.2
 10.  Disney  78.7  25.  Southwest Airlines  70.6
 11.  Dell  78.4  26.  America Online  69.2
 12.  General Electric  78.1  27.  Daimler-Chrysler  69.1
 13.  Lucent  78.0  28.  Toyota  68.6
 14.  Anheuser-Busch  78.0  29.  Sears  67.6
 15.  Microsoft  77.9  30.  Boeing  67.3

 

Source: Harris Interactive Inc., and the Reputation Institute