The 2004 Edelman Trust Study paints a picture of a world of shifting opinion.
Almost half of Americans trust their own government, but the study found that the Bush administration and US companies have come out as the least trusted in the UK and Europe.
The Blair Government is more trusted to do what is right than the Bush administration by Americans while British and American companies are the most trusted organisations in the US. The US invasion of Iraq last year and the unpopularity of the war among Europeans appear to have damaged goodwill towards US and British companies there, with 60 per cent of Germans saying they were less likely to buy US products because of Bush and 65 per cent saying they would avoid British products because of Blair.
Edelman UK joint general manager Stuart Smith said: ‘There has always been a “trust discount” for US firms in Europe – Bush is just the latest example. Prior to that it was anti-globalisation.’
The survey, which defines opinion leaders as ‘business-savvy, college-educated individuals with incomes of more than $75,000 or equivalent’, sought views from the US, UK, France, Germany, China and Brazil.
Independent experts and ‘an average person’ are considered the most credible information sources in Europe and the US.