Planet13 - 6:42 pm on Feb 16, 2011 (gmt 0)
If low quality links like that can influence brand results to that degree, then I think the tweak Google did a while back for brands was a bit too much. They are giving way too much weight to brand links, no matter where they appear.
Thanks for the clarification. That would seem to be a good hypothesis, considering all the talk lately about brands dominating the SERPs.