Walmart tops the list of corporations that American consumers think are most ethical, according to a new poll by market research company Morning Consult, which also found that people would prefer that companies stay out of politics.

The top 10 companies on the list are all large retailers, restaurants or tech companies.

The poll asked 6,600 people to think of a company that is ethical and name the first one that came to mind then ranked them based on mentions. The question was part of a larger report looking at what consumers want from brands when it comes to key ethical and political matters.

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) led with 699 mentions, followed by fellow retailers Amazon (450) and Target (301). Costco received 109 mentions.

Restaurants Chick-Fil-A (239), Starbucks (165) and McDonald’s (69) also cracked the top 10, along with tech giants Apple (137), Google (83) and Microsoft (82).

Forty-five percent of consumers said they feel corporations are becoming less ethical, while just a quarter think they’ve become more ethical.

Morning Consult also found that more than half of Americans (60 percent) would prefer that brands stay out of politics, Media Post reported, while 66 percent think corporations already have more political influence than they should.

Specifically, the survey found that commenting about President Trump is likely to generate backlash, per Media Post, a trend that holds true whether the statement is positive or negative. 

Consumers also want corporations to avoid weighing in on abortion, kneeling during the national anthem, and immigration, while commenting on civil rights, criminal justice reform and LGBTQ rights is acceptable.


Anne Stych, Contributing Writer