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BBC Radio 4 - 92 to 94 FM and 198 Long WaveListen to Digital Radio, Digital TV and OnlineListen on Digital Radio, Digital TV and Online

News and Current Affairs
SHOP TALK
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Tuesdays 16:00-16:30
Intelligent and entertaining conversation about business, money, technology and workplace issues.

Presented by Heather Payton, each programme picks up on trends and returns to stories that have moved out of the headlines.
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Listen to Shop Talk for 7 December 2004
PRESENTER
HEATHER PAYTON
Heather Payton
 
PROGRAMME DETAILS
Tuesday 7 December 2004
An image of a scene from Fawlty Towers.
A reputation is like a salad, it can take ages to prepare but can wilt quickly.

Reputations

Reputations are a bit like flowers. They take absolutely ages to grow and then one day along comes a frost and they wilt and die overnight. And reputations can mean lots of things.

Nicely brought up girls used to be told about the value of protecting theirs. A company whose washing machines have a reputation for not breaking down are more likely to sell them to customers who want to avoid hassle. And let's face it, no matter how you feel about people paying their debt to society, you're unlikely to buy a pension from a firm that's just anounced it's employing Nick Leeson.

In extreme cases loss of reputation can mean death for a company, witness the accounting firm Arthur Andersen in the aftermath of the scandal that embroiled its client, Enron.

Also Shop Talk will be talking to a man who lost his, and his company's reputation in the time that it takes to say "prawn sandwich".

Reputations obviously matter a lot more to some people, and companies, than others.

A politician mostly - though not always - will suffer if his unsavoury private life is exposed. A captain of industry or a newspaper editor may not. But whatever the rules are reputations are becoming more important.

A recent survey by the pollsters Mori of top British company bosses showed that reputation was now the most important factor in judging companies, up six fold in the past twenty years...

Guests

Alex Bollen Mori

Donough O'Brien author Fame by Chance and Bananaskins

Ronald Alsop author, 18 Immutable Laws of Corporate Reputation published by Kogan Page

Gerald Ratner Gerald Online

Jan Walsh consumer journalist, Consumer Analysis Group

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