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Spain’s image in the world’s leading financial press
Thesis Corporate Excellence
The image of Spain, generated and maintained by the most influential business periodicals in the world, has suffered a progressive and profound setback during the last several years. Such is the conclusion of the author of The Image of Spain in the Leading Economic Periodicals PhD thesis, which analyses around 1,300 articles about Spain published in The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010.
If in the end of 2007 Spain projected an image of an attractive, dynamic and solvent country, largely due to the dynamic activity of its enterprises abroad, in the following years the perception changed radically, and according to the author, the evaluation of Spain today may be labelled as unfavourable.
Thus the image of Spain has suffered a profound setback which may accelerate in the medium term. However, despite this general deterioration of the image, Spanish companies such as Banco Santander, BBVA, Telefónica and Iberia have managed to distance themselves from the negative image of the country and have been given neutral or positive treatment by the two analysed periodicals
Spain’s image in the world’s leading financial press
ThesisStrategy DocumentsT02 / 2011Ricardo LeivaReputationSpain’s image in the world’sleading financial press:Analysis of Spain’s presencein The Wall Street Journaland Financial Times The image of Spain, as generated and disseminated through the world’s most influential business publications, has undergone a steady and profound decline in recent years. Abstract Telefónica and Iberia have managed to distance The image of Spain, as generated and disseminated themselves from the country’s poor image by through the world’s most influential business receiving neutral or even positive treatment by the publications, has undergone a steady and profound two/three periodicals analysed. decline in recent years. Such is the conclusion reached by the author of the PhD thesis “La imagen Chapter Summary de España en la Prensa económica de referencia With a view to defining and contextualising mundial” (Spain’s image in the world’s leading the nature of the journalism practiced by The financial press), in which he analyses around 1,300 Wall Street Journal and Financial Times, the articles on Spain published in The Wall Street publications subject to study in this thesis, the Journal and Financial Times in 2007, 2008, 2009 author begins by analysing the characteristics and 2010. By the end of 2007 Spain presented and nature of the financial and business press, itself to the world as an attractive, dynamic and conducting a review of the three data sources that solvent country, especially due to the dynamism make up today’s business journalism: economic of its business sector, but over the ensuing years information, financial information and business the picture changed dramatically and, according information. to the author, it is now seen in an unfavourable light. Spain’s image, therefore, has experienced a In the second chapter, the author analyses the severe and rapid downturn that appears difficult to background and describes the nature of The counteract over the medium term. Nevertheless, Wall Street Journal and Financial Times, and of despite this general deterioration, Spanish their publishers: News Corporation and Pearson, companies such as Banco Santander, BBVA, respectively.Document prepared by Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation Leadership, citing the doctoral thesis “Spain’s image in the world’s leading financial press: Analysis ofSpain’s presence in The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times” by Ricardo Leiva.
Spain’s image in The author shows the impact Spain’s image has media as brokers influencing consumers’ decisionsthe world’s leading had on the country’s economy (macro and micro) and perceptions is the so-called “country of origin” orfinancial press: and analyses the state-of-the-art of the so-called “made in” effect. This is a phenomenon that was firstAnalysis of Spain’spresence in The Wall “country of origin” effect. He runs through the addressed by scholarly marketing journals in the 1960sStreet Journal and conclusions reached by the main instances of to refer to the specific economic impact that mightFinancial Times research that have analysed how the image of arise through the identification of a product with its nations and national stereotypes, disseminated, country of origin. It was noted at the time that national amplified and reinforced by the world’s press, may stereotypes, disseminated, amplified and reinforced by have very specific effects on world trade. the press, could affect consumers’ purchasing decisions and perceptions regarding imported products. The Since the first empirical research into national and political and economic authorities in a common cultural stereotypes in the United States in the market could go to great lengths to tear down trade 1930s, the press has been assigned a key role in the barriers, for example, but if consumers continued to propagation and consolidation of mental images prefer local products out of mere ethnocentrism, such that end up having a real impact. The author efforts would come to nothing. follows on from this by relating the concept of national stereotype to the country of origin effect, It is due to the proven existence of the country which has a bearing on people’s perception of of origin effect that over the course of the years imported products and their responses to them. He attention began to be paid to the marketing of also analyses studies and articles on Spain’s image places and to the definition of a country image. If a abroad written by social scientists and economists. country image improves, it may boost the export of products and services. If a country image worsens, In economics, the circumstances and attitudes it may be detrimental to those businesses seeking of market players form a loop in which they feed to sell their products and services abroad. back off each other, acquiring a life of their own. George Soros (2008) used the term reflexivity to Based on this conceptual framework, the author describe this two-way connection between reality asks the following questions: What is Spain’s and thought: economic events and the personal current image abroad? To what extent has that interpretations of market players interweave and image changed due to the economic crisis? How generate a new subjective reality, which nonetheless is Spain treated by the world’s most influential has objective and concrete consequences and business newspapers? repercussions. Market stakeholders base their decisions on their own perception of events and In order to respond to these and other related not on the real situation that appears before questions, in Chapter IV of the aforementioned them. In view of this circularity, their decisions thesis, the author analyses all the articles published influence the real situation, which is once again in The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times interpreted personally. between 1 October and 31 December 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 that contained the words This two-way interaction between economic and Spain or Spanish in the heading and/or in the financial reality and the perception market players first two paragraphs, referring to the printed or have involves several brokers. Among these, the digital versions of each one of the two periodicals media are beginning to be acknowledged as the (www.wsj.com and www.ft.com). most important ones. However, they do not only report events. They also re-shape them. They Method used not only report on reality, as they also create it: Regarding methodology, the author explains that “The way journalists portray themselves as merely all the articles were collected by a daily review of messengers lacks consistency”, wrote Manuel the digital edition of the two periodicals in question Conthe, the former chairman of Spain’s Security and by trawling through the Lexis-Nexis Academic and Investments Board, “they are not pizza delivery database and the Factiva subscriber browser drivers, but rather pizza chefs”. provided by Dow Jones (publisher of The Wall Street Journal). Robert J. Shiller would agree with Conthe. According to this economist, although the media The result was the coding of a total of 1,299 units like to present themselves as independent observers of information, or articles, discarding duplications of market events, they are an integral part of these (same content in the printed and online versions, for situations (Shiller, 2005). The media not only example, or the same content published by different present the platform upon which market events international editions, as The Wall Street Journal are reported and discussed, they also play a crucial and Financial Times have editions in the US, Asia role in the gestation of those very events. and Europe that share a lot of their content). One field in which empirical research has been Further discards involved those articles including conducted into the role played by images and the the word Spanish to refer to the language or to Thesis 2
Spain’s image in the Hispanic community in the US. Only those Each article, or unit, underwent a strictlythe world’s leading articles published in English were coded. The quantitative analysis, being classified as positive,financial press: outcome of this analysis was a league table of the negative or neutral, or a mixture of these. If theAnalysis of Spain’spresence in The Wall Spanish companies, people and issues of greatest presence was clearly detected of an opportunityStreet Journal and interest and importance according to The Wall and/or strength regarding Spain, the unit was codedFinancial Times Street Journal and Financial Times. as positive. If, on the other hand, a weakness and/ or threat were clearly singled out, it was classified While the influence of the two newspapers as negative. If no clear identification was made of analysed is undeniable in qualitative terms (they a strength, weakness, opportunity or threat, it was are the most trustworthy media according to codified as neutral. If the same article mentioned numerous surveys, for example), as regards Spain a strength or opportunity and also a weakness or the author also posits that their influence is also threat, it was considered mixed. quite considerable in quantitative terms. Thus, among all the newspapers in the United States Within the countries in the eurozone, Spain and United Kingdom, The Wall Street Journal and is one of those of greatest interest to The Wall Financial Times are the newspapers allocating the Street Journal and Financial Times. As shown in most amount of copy and resources to reporting on Table 1, until 2007 there was a close relationship Spanish affairs. between the size of each economy and the volume of information eurozone countries generated in According to the royal institute, Real Instituto the world’s most influential business publications. Elcano, which produces the quarterly Permanent The three largest economies in the eurozone were, Observatory on Spain’s Image Abroad in the respectively, the ones heading the leader board International Press, over half the news items on of countries with the highest news coverage1. Spain published in the United Kingdom appear Nevertheless, Spain at that time received less in the pages of the Financial Times, which alone coverage than it deserved in view of the size of its publishes more information on Spain that all the economy: it was the fifth country in the eurozone other British newspapers together. Likewise, The most often mentioned by The Wall Street Journal Wall Street Journal is the one that provides the and Financial Times, behind countries with a larger most coverage on Spain in the United States: one GDP (Germany, France and Italy, respectively) and in three articles on Spain published by the US press also behind the Netherlands, which nonetheless appear in the pages of The Wall Street Journal. had a lower GDP than Spain. Table 1: Coverage of eurozone countries in WSJ and FT Position Position by Position by News coverage News coverage Country by news coverage news coverage GDP (1) in 2007 (2) in 2010 (2) in 2007 in 2010 Germany 1 2,124 1 3,181 1 France 2 1,828 2 1,765 3 Italy 3 1,101 3 1,302 6 Spain 4 857 5 1,757 4 The Netherlands 5 969 4 735 8 Belgium 6 189 8 229 10 Austria 7 176 9 177 11 Greece 8 176 9 3,089 2 Finland 9 243 7 256 9 Portugal 10 143 10 817 7 Ireland 11 388 6 1,675 5 Slovakia 12 22 12 33 14 Luxemburg 13 66 11 79 12 Cyprus 14 21 13 61 13 Malta 15 19 14 9 15 (1) GDP 2009. Source: World Bank (2) Number of articles published throughout the whole year by WSJ, FT and The Economist with the names of each country in the heading and/or in the first two paragraphs, following the method described in the thesis. Thesis 3
Spain’s image in In the last quarter of 2010, however, The Wall Spain’s future was symbolically linked to the fatethe world’s leading Street Journal and Financial Times paid a great of those other countries that were being bailedfinancial press: deal more attention to those countries with a out financially. On 22 October 2010, for example,Analysis of Spain’spresence in The Wall sovereign debt crisis, and relatively ignored some The Wall Street Journal published an articleStreet Journal and of those nations that had received greater coverage called “Portugal Faces Growing Pains” (Barley,Financial Times because of the size of their economies. 2010) and its first paragraph mentioned Spain as one of the countries that was also causing Greece, the eighth largest economy in the concern in the region. The same association was eurozone, is the most significant case in this respect. made on 29 November 2010, when the Financial Until 2007, Greece generated an interest that was Times published the article “Ministers sign off on commensurate with its economic size. In 2010, €85bn Ireland deal”, in which it was said that the however, with the debt crisis and the financial agreement was signed “in a bid to head off further rescue, Greece became the second country in contagion affecting borrowing for Portugal and terms of news coverage, leapfrogging over much Spain” (Tait, Chaffin, Peel & Brown, 2010). larger economies, such as France, Italy and Spain. The most mentioned companies Ireland is another significant case: it has the Table 3 shows that in the last quarter of 2010 eleventh largest economy in the eurozone, yet in Moody’s was the company most often mentioned 2010 it stood in fifth position in terms of news in the news on Spain, thereby temporarily coverage. The same applied to Portugal: it is the taking pole position from Banco Santander, the tenth largest economy in the eurozone, but in 2010 Spanish company with the greatest international it was the seventh country most mentioned by the recognition and presence during the previous four two/three business publications analysed. years analysed. Spain followed the same trend, although its rise On 15 December 2010, the US credit rating was less pronounced: it rose from fifth position agency Moody’s announced that it was reviewing in 2007 to third in 2010 in the country ranking its rating of Spain’s government debt. From then according to news coverage. on, whenever The Wall Street Journal or Financial Times reported on Spain’s macroeconomic Table 2 confirms that news interest in Spain situation they reminded their readers, for rose sharply in 2010: there was a 91% increase contextualisation purposes, that Moody’s was in news items as regards 2009. Today, Spain is reassessing its rating of Spain’s government debt a much more important country for The Wall and that the outlook for this examination was Street Journal and Financial Times than it was in negative. Spain’s fate became directly linked not 2007. In the last quarter of 2010, the Financial only to the situation in Portugal, Ireland and Times published almost twice as many articles on Greece, but also to the downgrading that Moody’s Spain as in the same period in 2007. In the case was applying to those countries in the eurozone of The Wall Street Journal, the increase was even with the highest levels of risk. more significant, as in 2010 alone the periodical published more news items on Spain than in the For example, on 22 December 2010 The Wall three previous years combined. Street Journal published an article called “Moody’s Warns on Portugal”, in which it said that Moody’s The considerable increase regarding Spain, shown was considering downgrading its rating on especially by The Wall Street Journal and Financial Portugal’s government debt. The second paragraph Times, is explained largely by the repeated mention in the article also reminded readers that a week of Spain in the news in the last quarter of 2010 earlier the rating agency had also decided to do referring to the debt crisis in Portugal, Ireland and the same with Spain. The Wall Street Journal Greece. Whenever there was a report on what was and Financial Times did the same dozens of times happening in Portugal, Ireland and Greece, there during that period: reminding readers that Spain was also a mention of the possible contagion that was being exposed to a threatening test and that might be affecting Spain. this examination might constitute a serious blow Table 2: Articles on Spain, its companies and people Newspaper 2007 2008 2009 2010 TOTAL FT 168 165 186 304 823 WSJ 56 49 90 232 427 Economist 7 22 10 10 49 TOTAL 231 236 286 546 1,299 Thesis 4
Spain’s image inthe world’s leading Table 3: Companies most often mentioned in articles on Spainfinancial press:Analysis of Spain’s Company 2007 2008 2009 2010 TOTALpresence in The WallStreet Journal and Santander 14 40 13 31 98Financial Times Moody’s 0 0 1 47 48 BBVA 2 3 11 16 32 Telefónica 12 4 10 6 32 Iberia 7 4 5 3 19 Ferrovial 4 2 7 5 18 S&P 1 0 11 5 17 Iberdrola 7 1 4 4 16 Repsol 2 5 2 6 15 ACS 0 0 0 13 13 Zara 2 2 4 2 10 Endesa 5 1 1 0 7 Other non-domestic 80 74 104 217 475 Other domestic 37 34 53 54 178 None 58 66 60 137 321 TOTAL 231 236 286 546 1,299 to investors’ trust in the eurozone. Something Caixa, Caja Madrid and Sacyr, among many others. similar, albeit less significant in quantitative terms, The category “other non-domestic” includes those occurred in 2009, when Standard & Poor’s (S&P) companies with interests, business or plans in announced it was also reassessing Spain’s ability Spain, such as British Airways (due to its merger to repay its debt. Finally, in 2009 the S&P rating with Iberia) or more recently Hochtief (as it is agency became the second most cited company in in the sights of Spain’s ACS). This category also news on Spain (occupying the same position as includes analyst and consultancy firms that are BBVA). The following year, however, S&P did not cited as sources because they give their opinion have such a high position, and it is to be expected on the economic or business situation in Spain that the same will apply to Moody’s when the news and Europe. coverage in 2011 is analysed. The large number of articles that fail to mention Leaving aside the one-off nature of Moody’s any company at all is explained by the extremely appearance, it is clear that Banco Santander is the high number of macroeconomic articles that do Spanish company with the greatest international not refer to any one company in particular. presence, followed at some considerable distance by the next two, namely, BBVA and Telefónica. The most mentioned people Banco Santander’s major presence in the most The individual presence of Spanish companies in respected media in the United States and United the world’s most influential media is tightly focused Kingdom is endorsed by the position of its on three, or at the most, five companies, which chairman, Emilio Botín as the second Spanish means that, according to the author, this ambit national most often mentioned in articles appears to harbour a phenomenon that mirrors the about Spain, second only to the country’s Prime football championship, where only between three Minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, and ahead and five Spanish teams are in a position to seriously of the Deputy PM for the Economy of the moment compete at European level, and the same number (Pedro Solbes first and then Elena Salgado), as can of companies feature prominently in the three be seen in Table 4. most influential business media on the planet. The rest are a long way behind and highly dispersed. The wide variety of people featuring in the articles on Spain or called upon as sources is also very The vast majority of the mentions are listed high: only five Spanish people have a significant under “other domestic” or “other non-domestic” presence in the most influential media. Among companies and “none”. The category “other these, two represent Banco Santander, who are also domestic” contains those Spanish companies that joined by the bank’s CEO, Alfredo Sáez, in eighth appear sporadically and momentarily in the WSJ position. The Santander’s three senior executives and FT. These are, for example, Metrovacesa, la are, respectively, the top three Spanish nationals Thesis 5
Spain’s image in linked to the business world appearing on the list, in the pages of The Wall Street Journal or Financialthe world’s leading which shows how important Banco Santander is Times, within the context of a specific news itemfinancial press: for The Wall Street Journal and Financial Times. related to terrorism or politics, as in the case ofAnalysis of Spain’spresence in The Wall It should be remembered that Banco Santander another Deputy PM, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba.Street Journal and has investments in both the US and UK and it isFinancial Times the largest bank in the eurozone. The most mentioned topics As can be seen in Table 5, in 2007 only 6% of the It is somewhat surprising to note that the fourth news published by The Wall Street Journal, The Spanish national most often mentioned in the Economist and Financial Times on Spain referred articles analysed is the late dictator Francisco to the country’s macroeconomic situation. A clear Franco, who still features quite frequently in the majority of the news at that time (52%) reported world’s press, especially when attempts are made on business developments. Spain’s macroeconomic to explain the political and cultural context of situation in 2007 was not an issue of any great modern Spain. This shows just how difficult it is interest to the newspapers analysed, who focused for the media to put the images and icons of the on what Spanish companies were doing: what past behind them. they were buying or selling, how indebted they were, what new markets or industries they were A considerable number of reports on Spain exploring, and what investment or divestment mention non-nationals, such as the president of programmes they were announcing or developing. France, Nicolas Sarkozy. A further large group of articles does not mention anyone (especially when Interest in the property and real estate market reporting on macroeconomic affairs or business was also very low in 2007. Much greater results, for example). The non-national analysts attention was being paid to Spain’s beaches and and consultants who frequently appear giving an cities, its restaurants and wine, its celebrities and opinion on the state of affairs in Spain are listed in its architects. their respective category (non-national analyst). Another group contains the sporadic appearance The thematic bias in the three publications of Spanish nationals who are not linked to the changed the following year, as can be seen in economy or business sector, but who occasionally Table 5. In the last quarter of 2008, the macro feature in articles about tourism, cuisine or culture, economy became the second most important topic, such as the chef Ferrán Adrià, for example. A displacing matters of culture-tourism-cuisine and further category has also been provided for those politics. There was also an increase in the news Spanish authorities who appear from time to time coverage of the property sector. The situation was Table 4: The people most cited in articles on Spain Person 2007 2008 2009 2010 TOTAL J. L. R. Zapatero 7 21 9 32 69 E. Botín (Santander) 7 7 1 3 18 P. Solbes / E. Salgado 0 2 1 10 13 F. Franco 4 5 1 2 12 A. Horta-Osorio (Santander) 2 2 1 5 10 J. C. Trichet 0 1 0 8 9 A. Merkel 0 0 1 8 9 A. Sáenz (Santander) 0 2 3 3 8 C. Alierta (Telefónica) 6 0 0 1 7 HM The King 5 0 2 0 7 M. A. F. Ordóñez 0 0 6 1 7 Another non-national 75 78 103 225 481 No-one 73 52 65 107 297 Another Spanish business person 30 37 52 42 161 A non-national analyst 6 10 15 69 100 A non-business related Spanish national 10 12 19 15 56 Another Spanish authority 6 7 7 15 35 TOTAL 231 236 286 546 1,299 Thesis 6
Spain’s image inthe world’s leading Table 5: The most interesting topics for WSJ, FT and The Economistfinancial press:Analysis of Spain’s Topics 2007 2008 2009 2010 TOTALpresence in The WallStreet Journal and Businesses Mentions 120 84 122 155 481Financial Times % copy 52 36 43 28 37 Economy Mentions 13 45 58 256 372 % copy 6 19 20 47 29 Culture, Tourism and Cuisine Mentions 37 34 40 60 171 % copy 16 14 14 11 13 Domestic and International Politics Mentions 29 23 41 26 119 % copy 13 10 14 5 9 Property Market Mentions 6 18 6 8 38 % copy 3 8 2 1 3 Terrorism Mentions 8 3 2 7 20 % copy 3 1 1 1 2 Other topics Mentions 18 29 17 34 98 % copy 8 12 6 6 8 TOTAL Mentions 231 236 286 546 1,299 % copy 100 100 100 100 100 repeated the following year, through to the last In 2008, however, this situation was completely quarter of 2010, when macroeconomic news items reversed and most of the articles began to adopt rose sharply and for the first time took over from a negative tone, that is, they focused on a threat business articles. The insistence on associating or weakness. The situation worsened over the Spain with the crisis in Greece, Portugal and following years until the last quarter of 2010 when Ireland goes a long way to explaining the situation one out of two articles was negative in tone. This is a described. Nevertheless, considering the figures for very high proportion of negative articles, as normal the four years, business news continues to prevail, practice involves newspapers giving a neutral or as can be seen in Graph 1. impartial treatment to the groups or entities they cover, as occurred with Spain up 2007. The tone of the news The image of Spain projected through The Wall Street When only business news items are considered, Journal and Financial Times varied considerably however, Table 7 shows that the volume of positive between 2007 and 2010. As Graph 2 and Table 6 and negative articles is quite evenly distributed. show, most of the news on Spain published in 2007 Most of the business articles in 2007 had a neutral was either neutral or positive in tone (with the focus or positive tone, while in 2008 and 2009 there being on strength or opportunity). was a sharp increase in negativity, returning to a Graph 1: The most interesting topics for Graph 2: Tone of the articles on WSJ, FT and The Economist (2007-2010) Spain (% of annual coverage) 2% Business 3% 100% – 8% Economy 11 11 13 13 Mixed 90% – 80% – 15 Neutral Culture, Tourism 28 23 9% and Cuisine 70% – 42 Positive 36% 60% – 22 Domestic and 21 Negative International 50% – 24 13% Politics 40% – 24 30% – 50 Property Market 20% – 43 38 10% – 23 Terrorism 29% 0% – Other matters 2007 2008 2009 2010 Thesis 7
Spain’s image in Table 6: Tone of the articles on Spain between 2007 and 2010the world’s leadingfinancial press:Analysis of Spain’s Tono 2007 2008 2009 2010 TOTALpresence in The Wall Neutral Mentions 97 65 65 84 311Street Journal andFinancial Times % copy 42 28 23 15 24 Positive Mentions 55 56 61 122 294 % copy 24 24 21 22 23 Negative Mentions 54 89 122 271 536 % copy 23 38 43 50 41 Mixed Mentions 25 26 38 69 158 % copy 11 11 13 13 12 TOTAL Mentions 231 236 286 546 1,299 % copy 100 100 100 100 100 more balanced situation in 2010 with a perfect tie Luis Rodríguez Zapatero to revert the crisis. between positive and negative news. They all highlighted a strength or opportunity regarding Spain. Regarding macroeconomic matters, however, there is no question about the hegemony of General Conclusions negative news in all the years analysed, as can be This analysis leads to the conclusion that Spain’s seen in Table 8. In 2010, for example, 7 out of 10 image abroad has undergone a steady and profound articles on Spain’s macro economy had a negative decline in recent years. Whereas towards the tone; in other words, they highlighted a weakness end 2007 the country showcased itself abroad as or threat. This extremely high volume of articles attractive, dynamic and solvent, especially due to includes all the mentions of the situation in Spain the drive of its companies, in 2008, 2009 and 2010 when referring to the crisis in Portugal, Ireland or the picture can only be described as disastrous. Greece, or the downgrading of Spain’s sovereign The fact that Spain has been included in the group debt by Moody’s. Although the general outlook of countries referred to as PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, in macroeconomic terms can be defined as simply Greece and Spain), being the only one that has so appalling, it is worth noting that 2010 witnessed far not required bailing out by the rest of Europe, an increase in positive news with regard to 2009, and that the company mentioned most often in due mainly to the news on the economic measures articles on Spain in 2010 is Moody’s, proves that put in place by the government headed by José Spain has now become, in figurate terms, a member Table 7: Tone of the articles on businesses between 2007 and 2010 Tone 2007 2008 2009 2010 TOTAL Negative Mentions 26 33 44 59 162 % copy 22 39 36 38 34 Positive Mentions 36 22 33 59 150 % copy 30 26 27 38 31 Neutral Mentions 44 20 25 13 102 % copy 37 24 20 8 21 Mixed Mentions 14 9 20 24 67 % copy 12 11 16 15 14 TOTAL Mentions 120 84 122 155 481 % copy 100 100 100 100 100 Thesis 8
Spain’s image inthe world’s leadingfinancial press: Table 8: Tone of the articles on the macro economy between 2007 and 2010Analysis of Spain’spresence in The Wall Tono 2007 2008 2009 2010 TOTALStreet Journal andFinancial Times Negative Mentions 11 26 46 187 270 % copy 85 58 79 73 73 Mixed Mentions 1 8 7 33 49 % copy 8 18 12 13 13 Neutral Mentions 1 7 4 15 27 % copy 8 16 7 6 7 Positive Mentions 0 4 1 21 26 % copy 0 9 2 8 7 TOTAL Mentions 13 45 58 256 372 % copy 100 100 100 100 100 of the club of countries in trouble; a label that it their country of origin to obtain international will take a long time to shake off. visibility. Nevertheless, it is very likely that, even if only slightly, Spain’s image is weighing down on The general deterioration in Spain’s image, these companies’ reputation. however, has not greatly affected the country’s businesses, which have managed to distance A good image always follows on in the wake of themselves from their country of origin. sound policy. A positive perception tends to be the Companies such as Banco Santander, BBVA, outcome of a good performance. If Spain is to restore Telefónica and Iberia appear to confirm they are its image, it will first have to rebuild its macro and now global brands, being recognised in their own microeconomic foundations and credibility. right and not having to lever themselves through Thesis 9