A COUPLE of U.S. health care sector companies in our IR website benchmarking survey are in the process of being gobbled up by bigger companies or are going private, so we’ve been looking for replacements.
Usually we just pick companies at random from the S&P 500. However, since the sector has historically had the weakest IR websites I thought we’d try to find a couple of half-decent sites for a change.
No such luck. We went through the entire list of S&P 500 health care sector firms that we don’t already cover and not a single company came close.
Thomson’s cookie-cutter sites dominate
What we saw was just how dominant Thomson Financial’s web hosting business is. Pretty much 80% of the sites we looked at are hosted by Thomson, and they all look the same. No individualism, creativity or something new. Same old, same old.
So, just for fun, we started looking at the mid-cap companies in the S&P 400. It just got worse. Again, lots of Thomson sites. And some truly laughable stuff. The strangest thing we saw is illustrated in the screenshot below. Bear in mind that this is taken from the company’s IR homepage.
See the problem? And no, “Annual Report 2002″ is not a typo. They’re actually linking to their 2002 annual report. Someone from Thomson needs to contact these folks and tell them what year it is. Actually, why didn’t Thomson do that years ago?
We’d do it ourselves, but there’s no email address for the IR department. Why are we not surprised?
Anyhow, after seeing this, we decided to call it a day and look elsewhere. Like in Europe, Japan or perhaps Australia. Of course, if you know of any U.S. health care sector IR websites we might want to add to our list, please drop me a line.
Update: At some point in the 24 hours after this post appeared, someone fixed the old annual report link. No thanks necessary, Thomson. If you like, we can give you a lot of other fixes for your clients’ sites. Watch this space, as they say ;-) Here’s the “fixed” page: