A new survey suggests Tim Hortons has fallen out of favour with Canadians, plummeting 25 points and dropping more than 40 spots from 2017 in an annual corporate reputation ranking.
The coffee-and-doughnut chain dropped from fourth place to 50th on a ranking of 100 companies Canadians most admire in a study conducted by Leger and National Public Relations.
National's managing partner Rick Murray says in the report that Tim Hortons was "a perennial top five brand that we've previously believed impervious to issue, but has fallen mightily in the court of public opinion."
Tim Hortons recently faced an onslaught of negative publicity as some of its Ontario franchisees clawed back employee benefits, such as paid breaks, to help offset the province's minimum wage hike, claiming their corporate parent did not provide assistance. The move sparked nationwide protests and prompted some consumers to boycott the chain.
However, the survey shows it's possible for Tim Hortons to move back up in the standings next year. Samsung went from 24th place to fifth this year after fixing issues with some of its smartphones overheating and catching fire.
About 2,100 respondents 18 years and older assessed each company in the online study between Dec. 19, 2017 and Jan. 29, 2018.
The polling industry's professional body, the Marketing Research and Intelligence Association, says online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.