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Halliburton hasn't shaken its bad rep

The Halliburton building in Houston, Tex.

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: Last week, the big banks told us they're making money. The stock market has been on a tear. How real is this alleged recovery? We'll get more clues today when IBM reports its earnings, and so does Eli Lilly, Bank of America . . . and this should be interesting, Halliburton issues its quarterly report. Marketplace's Jennifer Collins says Halliburton may earn more money or less, but it might never change the way you feel about it.


Jennifer Collins: If Halliburton wants to know what people think if it, it can always check the spoof ads on YouTube:

Halliburton Spoof Ad: You close your eyes and randomly toss a dart on the Senate floor and you hit someone in my back pocket. Halliburton. It's not what we know it's who we know.

And that's one of the nice ones.

Pratap Chatterjee is an expert on military contracting:

Pratap Chatterjee: Halliburton will forever be associated with Dick Cheney and with the Iraq war, whether they like or not.

The thing is, Halliburton spun off its military contract business two years ago.

Branding expert Rob Frankel says it'll be tough for Halliburton to change its image.

Rob Frankel: When you've neglected your brand strategy for as long as they have, you also have to do a lot of repair work for all those years you allowed other people to define you.

Another military contractor, Blackwater, recently changed its name to Xe. Frankel says instead of a new name, Halliburton should focus on its relatively solid business servicing oil and gas companies. Which analysts say should keep the company strong for years to come.

I'm Jennifer Collins for Marketplace.

About the author

Jennifer Collins is a reporter for the Marketplace portfolio of programs. She is based in Los Angeles, where she covers media, retail, the entertainment industry and the West Coast.

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