More than two decades after the Tylenol scandal that cemented its reputation, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson is still the most admired corporation in America, according to the RQ 2005 study conducted by Harris Interactive, based on reputation metrics designed by Professor Charles Fombrun and the Reputation Institute, which measures the corporate reputations of the most visible companies in the United States.

For the seventh consecutive year, Johnson & Johnson ranks No. 1 with an RQ score of 80.56. Coca Cola ranks second (79.69), and new to the 60 companies measured in this latest study, Google ranks third, with an RQ score of 79.52.

The study evaluates companies along six key dimensions that comprise a company’s corporate reputation: vision and leadership, social responsibility, emotional appeal, products and services, workplace environment and financial performance.

Overall, the study shows that corporate America’s reputation has declined slightly since 2004. This year, the majority of U.S. adults (71 percent) say its reputation is “not good/terrible” compared to 68 percent who gave it that rating a year ago.

Thirteen percent of the adults (versus 16 percent in 2004) say the reputation of corporate America has “improved a little,” and two percent say it has “improved a lot,” which remained the same from 2004. Of the 60 most visible companies, nine made notable improvements in reputation since 2004, including Allstate (3.36 points increase in its RQ score) and MCI (formerly Worldcom) (3.27 points increase in its RQ score). Six companies showed notable declines in reputation.

According to Robert Fronk, senior vice president for the Harris-Wirthlin Brand and Strategy Consulting Group at Harris Interactive, “When you look at the 17 companies with RQ scores of 75 and higher, which is our benchmark for a strong, positive reputation, you see companies representing consumer products, manufacturing, entertainment, retail, technology and services. This elite list is not dominated by companies with everyday product brands, and this reinforces our belief that a strong, well managed reputation can and should be an asset for any organization.”

1. Johnson & Johnson 80.56
2. The Coca-Cola Company 79.69
3. Google 79.52
4. United Parcel Service (UPS) 79.37
5. 3M Company 78.78
6. Sony Corporation 78.75
7. Microsoft Corporation 78.11
8. General Mills 78.03
9. FedEx Corporation 77.79
10. Intel Corporation 77.27