Reputation rankings can be a funny thing

Bord Bia sits in third place behind An Post and credit unions in the latest RepTrak survey

The court of public opinion can be a funny thing. Just ask any politician. They can work their socks off for constituents between elections and yet still find themselves out on their ear when the votes are counted if they happen to be in the wrong party at the wrong time.

The findings from the latest RepTrak study on corporate reputations has thrown up some odd results. This year, the annual study polled the opinions of 5,500 members of the public in January and February as it sought to rank 100 companies in terms of reputation.

According to The Reputations Agency, which compiles the ranking, the study “measures the strength of the emotional bond between an organisation and the public”.

Twitter (98) and An Bord Pleanála (97) merited inclusion in the list for the first time, replacing the departing Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland. Elon Musk, you will recall, unceremoniously sacked Twitter staff (including at its Irish base) after his takeover last year, and well-aired issues at the top of An Bord Pleanála, hollowed out of its senior ranks exacerbating delays in planning decision being made.


Only Irish Water and Meta ranked below them.

With Blackrock Healthcare group and St Vincent’s Private Hospital figuring in the top 10, we can only assume that those polled were a sickly bunch or spent a lot of time visiting ill relatives for those two entities to figure so prominently in their consciousness.

And it’s a bit of a head-scratcher that so many members of the public have formed such a close emotional bond with Bord Bia. The State agency charged with promoting Irish food and drink ranked in third place behind An Post and credit unions, consumer-facing organisations represented in most towns and villages across the country.

Cantillon can’t ever recall a dinner party or pub chat – lubricated by food and drink remember – involving a conversation about Bord Bia’s reputation, good, bad or indifferent.

Still, the people have spoken.