The results of our Webranking by Comprend Europe 500 research has been covered by Italian weekly L’Economia del Corriere (Corriere della Sera), reporting on the performance of the 29 Italian companies included in this year’s research. The companies included in the research were decided based on market capitalisation, taken from the Europe Stoxx 600 index.
Italy triumphs in the European ranking
As highlighted by L’Economia, Italian companies are some of the top performers in our research, topping the charts with four companies included in the top 10, and achieving a country average of 52.8 points, considerably greater than the European average of 45.7 recorded this year.
Scandinavian countries, which historically have been leading the pack when it comes to corporate transparency, are seeing a slight setback, as investment in digital takes off in other European countries.
Italian gas infrastructure company Snam and energy company Eni top the ranking this year, with insurer Generali and transmission grid Terna (also one of the best improvers) taking fifth and sixth place.
As L’Economia del Corriere duly notes, the giants of the Europe Stoxx 600 index (companies such as Nestlé, Novartis, Roche, and Royal Dutch Shell) are beaten out by smaller, less well-known companies in terms of transparency.
As corporate branding takes over, transparency pays the price
Ten years on from the financial crisis and the launch of the first iPhone, the all in one screen that forever changed the way in which we access information, you would expect companies to make transparency in communications a priority.
This, surprisingly, is not the case.
One of the key trends we’re seeing is this: Mobile has forced companies to shrink the size of websites to make them manageable from smaller screens; social has driven a focus on “storytelling” and engagement. This has led to the rise of “corporate branding” and the decline of “corporate transparency.”
At the same time, stakeholders’ expectations for transparent communication has never been higher. Whistleblowing efforts from investigations such as the Panama & Paradise Papers have continued to expose the hidden agendas of the largest corporations, and the public outcry has never been greater
But it’s not all bad news.
On a positive note, we found that a growing number of companies are placing transparency at the centre of their communications strategies, with investment in digital taking off across the European continent.
For more insights, trends and the full ranking list, download our whitepaper here