Britain's leading companies are "woefully inadequate" at providing corporate information on their Web sites, according to a study released Monday.
It said half the companies listed on the London stock market's main barometer, the FTSE 100 blue-chip share index, did not give their share price on their Web sites or put it where it was hard for shareholders to find.
The report also stated that a quarter of companies did not explain the nature of their business on their home page and others hid financial information behind a "barrage" of product information.
Rodney Tyler, a director of Interactive Bureau said a company's home page was often the first impression a potential employee, shareholder or client received but many companies treated their audience of shareholders "appallingly," making it hard for them to find information.
The sites were ranked on criteria covering home page links, contact details and corporate information, overall design, navigation and technical performance.
Several examples were listed, from both ends of the scale :-
- Six Continents Plc, the world's second-largest hotels group, was singled out for praise in the survey, which said it displayed simple and functional design with all the necessary links displayed in the right place.
- Barclays Plc. was scolded for displaying its share price several clicks away from its home page.
- Marks and Spencer Plc was criticized for a hard-to-find search facility.
- Supermarket chain Tesco Plc was criticized for hiding its financial details behind a "barrage of product information."