Not So Happy New Year Wishes To National And Multinational Corporations From The World's Most Engaged, Influential

Toronto, Washington, London - As 2008 dawns across the world, a majority of the world's most engaged citizens is letting it be known that large companies have too much influence on the decisions of their government and they want a more aggressive crack down on the activities and influence of national and multinational corporations, a new survey reports today.

The poll of 22,000 covering 22 of the world's leading and burgeoning powerhouse economies, indicates that public opinion among the most active, connected and engaged global citizens is putting global and national corporations at risk for potential government interventions and tighter regulatory incursions because its most elite citizens will back such moves.

The key findings of the poll indicate:

Three Quarters [74%] Believe That Large Companies Have Too Much Influence on Decisions of Their Government...

Three quarters [74%] of the intelligaged citizens throughout the 22 countries surveyed agree that large companies have "too much influence on the decisions" of their government compared with just 26% who disagree.

Of the various block regions around the world, Latin American intelligaged citizens [83% versus 17%] are the most likely to agree with this proposition compared with North Americans [81% versus 19%], Europeans [73% versus 27%] and those in the Asia-Pacific block [70% versus 30%].

Almost As Many [72%] Believe Their Government Should Be More Aggressive In Regulating Activities of National and Multinational Corporations...

A full majority [72%] of the intelligaged citizens surveyed across the 22 countries believe that the government of their country "should be more aggressive in regulating the activities of national and multinational corporations". This compares with 28% who take the contrary point of view.

Of the various block regions around the world, those intelligaged citizens in Latin American block [86% versus 14%] are more likely than those in the three other block regions to believe that the government in their country "should be more aggressive in regulating the activities of national and multinational corporations": North America [72% versus 28%], Europe [71% versus 29%] and Asia-Pacific [67% versus 33%].

Majority [69%] Believe Large Companies More Powerful Than Governments...

Seven in 10 [69%] of the intelligaged citizens surveyed across 22 nations believe that "large companies are more powerful than governments" [versus 31% who do not believe that "large companies are more powerful than governments."].

Of the various block regions around the world, those intelligaged citizens in the Latin American block [76% versus 24%] are slightly more likely than those in Europe [74% versus 26%] and North America [73% versus 27%] to believe that "large companies are more powerful and governments" compared with the Asia Pacific block at 58% versus 42%.

Majority [58%] Believe Government Should Have Complete Access to Private Information Of Corporations Doing Business in Their Country...

Six in 10 [58 %] of the intelligaged citizens surveyed across the 22 nations believe that their "government should have complete access to the private information of corporations doing business in" their country. This compares with 42% who take the contrary point of view.

Of the various block regions around the world, those intelligaged citizens Latin America [68% versus 32%], Asia-Pacific [62% versus 38%] and North America [60% versus 40%] are more likely than those in Europe [53% versus 47%] to believe that their government should have "complete access to the private information of corporations doing business" in their country.

Split View: Half [52%] Think Their Big Industry Should Be Controlled By Government, Other Half [48%] Disagree...

It would appear that from among the 22 countries surveyed there is a split view as to whether or not it is in the interest of the country where the intelligaged citizen resides that their "big industry should be controlled by the government". Just slightly over half [52%] of all those surveyed disagree that with this perspective but almost as many [48%] agree with this point of view.

Of the various block regions around the world, those intelligaged citizens in North America are most likely to disagree [68% versus 32%] with the perspective that it is in their country's interest that their "big industries should be controlled by the government" . This compares with each other block where opinion is split -- in Latin America, 50% agree and 50% disagree; in Europe, 48% agree and 52% disagree; and, in the Asia-Pacific region, 52% agree and 40% disagree.

Majority [52%] Believe Government Regulation Too Little To Protect Rights of Workers in Their Country...

When it comes to the rights of workers, a majority of those surveyed [52%] believe that there is "too little government regulation to protect the rights of workers in their country" compared with 20% who indicate that there is "too much government regulation", and three in 10 [28%] of those surveyed who believe that the government regulation they have to protect workers rights is "about right".

Of the various block regions from around the world, Latin America (68%) is most likely to believe that there is too little government regulation in their country for the protection of the rights of workers, followed by European (51%) and Asia-Pacific (51%) countries. Least supporting this perspective are those in North America (42%).

As for those who are more likely to believe that there is too much government regulation in their country for the protection of the rights of workers, the Asia-Pacific (24%) region ranks first, followed by Europe (19%), North America (18%) and Latin America (14%).

And for those who are more likely to believe that the amount of government regulation they have in their country for the protection of the rights of workers is "about right", North America (40%) leads Europe (30%), Asia-Pacific (25%) and Latin America (18%) regions

Despite Majority Desire for More Government Control, Regulation of National and Multinational Corporations, Most [55%] Believe That Major Corporations Having Good Influence, Compared To Those Who Say They Are Having Bad Influence [45%]...

And when it comes to evaluating whether major corporations have a "good" or "bad" influence on the way things are going in their country, there is a relatively split opinion among those surveyed -- 55% of the intelligaged citizens surveyed in the 22 nations indicate that major corporations are at "good" influence versus 45% who indicate that their influence is "bad".

Of the various block regions around the world, those which have the most positive perspective on the influence of corporations on the way things are going in their country are those in the Asia-Pacific region [67% "good influence" compared with 33% "bad influence"] and Latin America [56% "good influence" compared with 44% "bad influence"]. The region with the most negative perspective on the influence of corporations on the way things are going in their country is North America [56% "bad influence" compared with 44% "good influence"]. The region that is split in opinion as to the influence of corporations on how things are going in their country is Europe where 51% believe that corporations are having a "bad influence" compared with 49% who believe that corporations are having a "good influence".

To view the entire press release, please click here.

The survey audience--the Intelligaged global population--is the most involved and influential population per country: a total of 100% are online, 68% voted in the last election they were eligible to do so, half have instigated political, economic and social discussions, and 37% have signed a petition within the past year. On the consumer behavior side, half (47%) chose to buy a product or service because of a company's ethical, social or environmental reputation and one third (33%) advised others against using a specific company or service for the same reason.

The Ipsos [email protected] Risk Identifier is a bi-annual survey specifically constructed to understand the reputation risk environment critical to protecting the goodwill and equity--both financial and public--of corporate brands and operations. The field window was Oct 18th through Oct 31st, 2007. It surveyed over 22,000 "broad elites, Internet Intelligaged, and digital information opinion leaders about corporate, social & political, foreign investment, expansion, the environment, and other critical business risk affecting the business landscape", via 1,000 interviews each in 20 countries across the Ipsos global online panel access network, with results made available through the [email protected] research service digital platform within 20 days of initiating the global survey. The margin of error per country is +/-3.1, 19 times out of 20.

For more information on this news release, please contact: Dr. Darrell Bricker President and COO Ipsos Public Affairs (416) 324-2001 [email protected]

About Ipsos Reid Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group.

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