GE's reputation has suffered since revelations of its aggressive tax avoidance efforts first surfaced in the New York Times, albeit not as much as other major brands who have recently undergone a crisis, such as BP, Toyota and Goldman Sachs.
BrandIndex compared the consumer Reputation scores of all four brands one week before their problems began and one week afterwards. While GE's Reputation score halved when the New York Times story broke from 52 to 25.6, Toyota fell harder from 85.5 to 25.6 during their accelerator recalls. And even harder was Goldman Sachs in September 2008 with scores tumbling from 27.3 to -46.5 in a week at the start of the financial crisis.
When the scale of the oil spill was reported, BP nosedived 40 points in a week, although their 4.0 score was not at the same depth as Goldman Sachs (they lost more than 70 points in a week!). However, BP’s negative Reputation levels dropped well below those reached by both Goldman Sachs and Toyota.
Toyota, BP and Goldman all endured long-term impacts to their reputation, yet the jury is still out as to whether or not GE will suffer a similar long-term backlash.