Paris Tops Ranking in Global City Image Study; GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media and Simon Anholt Release 2009 City Brands Index


Three U.S. Cities Among Top Ten

NEW YORK – June 16, 2009 GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media, a division of GfK Custom Research North America, today announced highlights from the 2009 Anholt-GfK Roper City Brands IndexSM (CBI) report, which captures consumer perception of the image and reputation of 50 major cities worldwide.

Paris ranks as the top overall city "brand”, followed by Sydney, London, Rome and New York.  The top 10 cities from the global survey are:

2009 Anholt-GfK Roper City Brands IndexSM Ranking
(Top 10 of 50 Cities)

  1. Paris

  2. Sydney

  3. London

  4. Rome

  5. New York

  6. Barcelona

  7. San Francisco

  8. Los Angeles

  9. Vienna

10. Madrid

"The index measures the world’s perception of each city, which influences people’s choices on where to live, work and vacation,” says Simon Anholt, CBI founder. "Particularly in the face of today’s uncertain economic climate, it’s vital to understand the forces and opinions that drive business towards and away from these cities.”

The index is based on a global survey in which respondents from across 20 major developed and developing countries are asked to rate their agreement with statements about each of 50 cities.  The ranking is developed by averaging city scores across the index’s six categories: Presence (knowledge of city and perception of its global contribution), Place (cleanliness, aesthetic qualities and climate), Pre-requisites (affordable accommodations and quality of public amenities), People (friendliness, personal encounters and cultural diversity), Pulse (interesting events, activities and lifestyles) and Potential (perception as good place to do business, to find a job and to go to school).

Following are the top three ranked cities in each category, as well as two additional cities with noteworthy positions on the list:

Presence Brand Ranking
  1. London
  2. New York
  3. Paris
12. Beijing
50. Jeddah

Place Brand Ranking
  1. Sydney
  2. Rome
  3. Paris
37. Chicago
50. Mumbai

Pre-requisites Brand Ranking
  1. Sydney
  2. Toronto
  3. Amsterdam
  6. Vancouver
27. Prague

People Brand Ranking
  1. Sydney
  2. Toronto
  3. Melbourne
33. Singapore
46. Cairo

Pulse Brand Ranking
  1. Paris
  2. New York
  3. Rome
 14. Rio de Janeiro
 46. Warsaw

Potential Brand Ranking
  1. London
  2. New York
  3. Sydney
  8. Boston
29. Hong Kong

"While Sydney lands in first place in three of the six categories that combine to create the index, it is Paris’ big lead over Sydney in the Presence and Pulse dimensions that push it into the top position overall,” explains Xiaoyan Zhao, senior vice president and director of the CBI study at GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media. "Similarly, there are cities with notable strengths in some areas but are pulled down by their poor showings in others.  Even so-called top cities have varied reputations across developed and developing countries.  Understanding the significance of these differences is crucial so that cities can leverage their core strengths and shore up areas of vulnerability in order to develop overall strategies to attract tourism and business investments.”

Anholt-GfK Roper City Brands IndexSM (CBI) Methodology
The index measures the image of 50 cities with respect to Presence, Place, Pre-requisite, People, Pulse and Potential. Each year, a total of 10,000 adults ages 18 and up are interviewed in 20 core countries.

About GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media
GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media is a division of GfK Custom Research North America.  The division specializes in customized public opinion polling, media & communications research, and corporate reputation measurement -- in the US and globally. In addition to delivering a broad range of customized research studies, GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media draws from GfK’s syndicated consumer

tracking services, GfK Roper Reports® US and GfK Roper Reports® Worldwide, which monitor consumer values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors in the US and more than 25 other countries.

About GfK Custom Research North America
Headquartered in New York, GfK Custom Research North America is part of the GfK Group. With home offices in Nuremberg, Germany, the GfK Group is fourth largest market research organization in the world. Its activities cover three business sectors: Custom Research, Retail and Media. With 115 companies covering over 100 countries, GfK Group has approximately 10,000 employees (as of September 30, 2008), 80% of which are based outside Germany.  For more information, visit

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About Simon Anholt
Simon Anholt is recognized as the world’s leading authority on the identity, image and reputation of countries, regions and cities. He is a member of the UK Foreign Office’s Public Diplomacy Board, and works as an independent advisor to around 40 other national, regional and city governments on identity policy and public diplomacy. Anholt developed the concept of the Nation Brands Index in 2005. He is founding editor of the quarterly journal, Place Branding and Public Diplomacy, and the author of Brand New Justice, Brand America and Competitive Identity - the New Brand Management for Nations, Cities and Regions.

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