You’re Less Hated Than Your HMO Is

For reasons best known to themselves, Americans have adopted a friendlier view of major industries this year. The chart here excerpts a Gallup poll on the topic. Of the two dozen sectors covered by the poll, only retailing and farming/agriculture failed to improve the sum of their positive votes minus their negative votes. Even the advertising/ public-relations biz rose in public esteem: 41 percent of adults had positive opinions of it, vs. 31 percent last year. Moreover, just 8 percent had a “very negative” opinion of it, vs. 9 percent in 2002. This leaves the ad business with a “very negative” tally far lower than that accorded to the much-demonized healthcare sector (17 percent) and pharmaceutical business (16 percent)—i.e., industries that merely save people’s lives instead of entertaining them with funny Super Bowl commercials.