Martha Stewart was found guilty last Friday of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and making false statements in her dealings with federal investigators over her sale of ImClone stocks in 2001. (Check out this Inc.com poll where Inc.com users reacted to the initial charges.) Stewart contends she did nothing wrong, but her proclamations of innocence probably won't go a long way in saving her name or the brand she's built.
In a March 5, 2004, Businessweekonline.com column, BusinessWeek Associate Editor Diane Brady reviews where Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia goes from here. Her opinion: "The psychic heft behind the brand is seriously diminished." Though execs at the company are remaining optimistic and have promised to forge on, the fact remains that the company's reputation "will forever be linked to a convicted felon." Can the brand withstand the association? And what is the company without Martha?