Top 20 most criticised brands in the world

A new report reveals the most praised and criticised global brands when it comes to campaigns waged against them by non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

An annual report compiled by SIGWATCH, a private research firm, showed that Shell, Monsanto – a US multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology firm – and the World Bank were the most heavily criticized by NGOs.

Volkswagen – thanks to the ‘dieselgate’ scandal; Adani, an Indian multinational conglomerate dealing in resources and energy; along with French energy company, EDF, joined the global 20 most criticised corporations for the first time.

In 2015, SIGWATCH said it logged 6,000 NGO actions globally. It said the list of 20 most criticised corporations is noteworthy for being relatively stable: 12 of the 20
were also in 2014’s top 20.

The list of top 20 most praised corporations was led for the second year running by Nestlé, a recognition of its commitments in a number of areas relating to commodity
sourcing, climate and water.

Marks & Spencer’s position as the second most praised corporation globally, is noteworthy because the British retailer has relatively little presence outside the UK.

In fact seven retailers, including three British ones (M&S, Tesco and Sainsbury) figure in 2015’s global top 20.

Another seven of the top 20 are financial institutions, of which four are French. The reason these retailers won above-average praise from NGOs could be that they are used to responding quickly to consumer concerns and NGOs are being taken equally seriously, SIGWATCH opined.

“In the case of the financial institutions, 2015 has seen a lot of pressure from NGOs on banks and investors to decarbonize their portfolios and all these firms won praise for new climate commitments,” it said.

McDonald’s reached third place for praise, up from 12, in recognition of recent policy shifts on antibiotics in food production, pay levels in its supply chain, nutritional labelling and animal welfare commitments.

BNP Paribas and Walmart uniquely made it into the top 20 most criticised and most praised corporations for 2015. “NGOs have high expectations for both organisations but clearly they are also receiving due recognition of their reforms,” the report said.

Top 20 most criticized companies globally

Company 2015 rank 2014 rank change
Shell (Royal Dutch Shell) 1 1 0
Monsanto 2 3 +1
World Bank 3 7 +4
TransCanada 4 2 -2
ExxonMobil 5 *
Adani Enterprises 6 *
Volkswagen Group 7 *
Dow Chemical 8 4 -4
EDF 9 *
BP 10 9 -1
Wilmar International 11 *
BNP Paribas 12 *
Vattenfall 13 15 +2
BHP Billiton 14 13 -1
Bayer 15 17 +2
Enbridge  16 10 -6
GDF Suez / Engie 17 6 -11
Chevron 18 5 -13
Total S.A 19 *
Walmart 20 *

Top 20 most praised companies globally

Most praised Annual Fee (Board) Annual Fee (Day) 2015
Nestlé 1 1 0
Marks & Spencer 2 12 +10
McDonald’s 3 *
Unilever 4 2 -2
Crédit Agricole 5 18 +13
Apple 6 7 +1
H&M (Hennes & Mauritz AB) 7 *
Société Générale 8 *
Walmart 9 *
Banque de La Réunion Groupe BPCE 10 *
BNP Paribas 11 *
Whole Foods 12 *
Tesco 13 * +13
Rewe 14 *
Sainsbury’s 15 *
Citigroup 16 *
St Mary’s School for Girls 17 *
PVH (Phillips
– Van Heusen)
18 *
Bank of America 19 6 -12
Triodos Bank 20 *

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Top 20 most criticised brands in the world