So, Sir Robert McAlpine is the best brand in construction.

So says a new list of the top 500 “business superbrands” in the UK anyway.

The pathologically secretive contractor came in at number 101 on a list that was topped by Google, Rolls Royce and Sony.

So publicity-shy is the company that the top story on the “news” section of its website after the list was announced began:

“We demolished a bridge spanning the M1 in the East Midlands over the weekend of January 17th, successfully completing the work ahead of our 9am deadline on the Sunday.”


It was followed by Balfour Beatty at number 108, a company that would no doubt adopt a similarly reticent approach to the outside world if it wasn’t listed.

The results are essentially a triumph of construction hoardings over press releases and probably had quite a lot to do with the building work going on through the office window of the marketing and ad types that drew up the list.

If marks were to be awarded for effort the top contractor would surely have to be Rok – a smiling child and a branded hard hat in every shot.

It is interesting to note the perception of outsiders to an industry but the merit of the list is seriously called into question when you see that Jarvis (361) ranks 12 places above Carillion (373).

Maybe that’s the price Carillion pays for having a silly name though. Tarmac, the moniker it once went under, came in at 97.

Others on the list:

JCB (56)

Tarmac (97)

Blue Circle (144)

Costain (216)

Land Securities (246)

British Land (265)

British Gypsum (271)

Skanska (293)

Kier (360)

Saint Gobain (362)

Wolseley (440)