Apple’s iPad causes a media storm, but fails to knock Google from the top spot

Each month, we commission research looking at which of the top 20 international brands are dominating media coverage. As usual, Google has grabbed the most headlines. Lately, however, not all the news has been good. There has been a lot of news surrounding privacy issues. For example, one of the most recent stories appearing at on 6 June states: "The Australian police have been ordered to investigate Google for possible breach of privacy while taking pictures for its Street View service."

The PR League

Supplied by Echo Sonar

In the first two Brand League Tables, Microsoft was ahead of Apple in terms of coverage, but in April, Apple succeeded in scoring more headlines. In May it jumped ahead again, no doubt largely due to the media frenzy surrounding its iPad.

Supplied by Echo Sonar

The question is whether the iPad can live up to its hype. Robert Elding, marketing director of YUDU Media (which designs iPad apps for publishing houses) believes that both the hype, and the iPad, are hits for Apple: “The iPad launch has been an unprecedented success. Remember, this is the first consumer device in history to shift $1 billion of sales and hardly a day goes by without Apple announcing another startling fact – the latest being that there is one iPad flying off the shelves every three seconds.“ Elding continues, “it’s a PR dream and Apple is quite rightly maximising every record-breaking new statistic to enhance its brand. The iPad is set to do for publishing what the iPod and iTunes did for music."

Richard Houghton, founder of PR agency Carrot Communications, agrees that iPad‘s PR push successfully matches up to the product, even if he's not quite ready to rush out to buy one yet: "It is all too easy to be cynical about the hype around the iPad. But the product has resonated sufficiently with two million plus consumers to buy it since launch. It is a combination of beautiful design and a hard-earned brand reputation that has made it such a hit. Although, I'll be waiting for the next version with USB ports and reliable Wi-Fi connection before I shell out 600 quid for one."

Since the Brand Index began, this is the first month that Toyota has not been in the news, following the recall of its vehicles. This month, Mercedes-Benz takes fifth place in our table, and news for this car manufacturer is rather better. For example reported positive sales in Frankfurt on 11 May:"Sales of Mercedes-Benz brand cars rose 15 per cent to 93,100 units in April compared to the same period a year ago,"

PRmoment asked Echo Sonar to look at all UK print media coverage of the 20 top global brands as identified by Interbrand. Echo Sonar further analysed online media coverage of the top five brands. The research period was 1 May to 31 May 2010.