Global CEOs now figures of trust again says Edelman Trust Barometer

CEOs across the world could be seeing the public warming to them again after years of being out in the cold, a new report has revealed.

Global CEOs are figures of trust: Robert Phillips
Global CEOs are figures of trust: Robert Phillips

Edelman’s 2011 Trust Barometer, which sampled 5,075 informed publics in 23 countries, has today shown that CEOs now rank among the top credible people globally. Two years ago CEOs were in the bottom two.

The Trust Barometer, published every year by Edelman, also sees an improved trust towards credentialed spokespeople, academics and technical experts.

However, the ‘person like me’ and regular employees have become less credible.

Edelman UK chairman Robert Phillips said of the findings: ‘This year’s Trust Barometer signals a clear return to the role of the CEO and other authority figures when seeking out information on a company. This is probably driven by a thirst for leadership, reassurance and a safe pair of hands in the post-crisis world.’

However, Phillips added: ‘This is not about the CEO alone. Multiple information sources and multiple figures of authority are key.’

Globally, the Trust Barometer reported a two-point global increase in trust in business, surging in Brazil, rising in Germany and holding steady in China and India. In the UK it remained stable at 44 per cent.

But the US saw the biggest drop in trust across all institutions – business, government, NGOs and the media.

The report also showed that the UK’s least trusted sectors are banks – at 16 per cent, a 30-point drop in three years; media at 21 per cent; and financial services at 20 per cent.

The report revealed that online search engines are the first place people go to for information about a company. However, traditional news ranks as the most trusted source in major markets such as the UK, US and China.

The report also revealed that 83 per cent in the UK need to hear information more than three times before they believe it, while 27 per cent need to hear it six to ten times. This level of scepticism is rivalled only by the US.

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