‘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?

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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