Brandz makes Apple the world’s top brand – but the tax-dodging company’s reputation is in tatters

WPP has just produced its latest BrandZ survey of the world’s top brands and, as usual with these things, it’s cobblers.

Top is Apple at £185bn (American figures) and then the usual suspects.

But Apple is facing arguably the biggest crisis in its 30 year-old history as it’s pilloried by all and sundry, including American legislators, who are not to be laughed off, for its ornate tax-dodging policies.

Here’s the top ten:

Rank 2013 Brand Brand Value 2013 ($M) – Brand Value Change 2012
1 Apple 185,071 1% 1
2 Google 113,669 5% 3
3 IBM 112,536 -3% 2
4 McDonald’s 90,256 -5% 4
5 Coca-Cola 78,415 6% 6
6 AT&T 75,507 10% 8
7 Microsoft 69,814 -9% 5
8 Marlboro 69,383 -6% 7
9 Visa 56,060 46% 15
10 China Mobile 55,368 18% 10

Now we recognise that this assessment was gathered, maybe, before the full extent of Apple’s tax-dodging shenanigans were revealed to an eager world but Apple fans, and their geniuses in stores worldwide, will be shocked at the recent revelations.

So the Apple brand, meaning the trust consumers place in it, has, I would suggest, been well and truly nixed.

Is it therefore worth less than China Mobile? Who knows – but it ain’t the world’s top brand any more; at least as far as those under-reported people, you and me, are concerned.

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About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.