Controversial donation won't keep Target off ethical list

MINNEAPOLIS -- After all the flak it got for its political contributions -- even losing a deal with Lady Gaga over it -- Target this year was still recognized as one of the world's most ethical companies.

According to Target, the Ethisphere Institute, which produces the list, honored Target for "implementing upright business practices and initiatives that are instrumental to the company’s success, benefit the community, and raise the bar for ethical standards within the industry." This is the fifth consecutive year that Target has received the award.

The Ethisphere honor is not the only recognition Target has received this year. The company snagged the number 22 spot on Fortune's "Most Admired Companies" list, the number 44 spot on DiversityInc's "Top 50 Companies for Diversity" list and the number 26 spot on the Corporate Responsibility "100 Best Corporate Citizens" list.

With all these accolades it would seem that Target's $150,000 to a political group that backed an anti-gay marriage candidate was of a little concern to those who judge the ethics of a company. However, in the court of public opinion, Target has most likely lost some credibility among some of its customers.