‘Most-hated’ companies clam up—smart or stupid PR?

Most of the companies on a list of the 10 most-hated in the United States don’t seem interested in talking about it. Is that the right approach?

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It isn’t fun to be hated. This month, 10 companies found themselves on 24/7 Wall Street’s list of the most-hated companies in America, and, as you might suspect, they aren’t saying much about it.

Of the 10 companies on the list, five—American Airlines, Goldman Sachs, Best Buy, Johnson & Johnson, and Sears—simply didn’t respond to Ragan.com’s requests for comment. Three others—Facebook, AT&T, and Bank of America—declined to comment. (Incidentally, although many news outlets reported that Facebook was the No. 1 most-hated company, 24/7 Wall Street indicated its list was in “no particular order.”)

Only two, Netflix and Nokia, had any reply at all.

That’s certainly understandable. For lots of people, appearing on a list of most-hated anything would cause them to run into the closet and lock the door. But crisis communications experts are split on whether these companies should try to pretend that 24/7 Wall Street’s list doesn’t exist.

How they replied

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