Edelman survey reveals falling trust in business

People’s trust in business and government to ‘do what is right’ has dropped markedly in Edelman’s sixth annual barometer of trust.

Trust in business fell nine percentage points to just 37 per cent, but still outperforms government – trusted by 27 per cent of the 150 UK ‘opinion leaders’ who took part in the survey.

NGOs have replaced business as the most trusted institutions, topping the poll in the UK and every market except China.

Respondents lost confidence in CEOs, with just 19 per cent seeing them as credible figures for forming an opinion about a company.

Third-party spokespeople such as healthcare specialists (65, up from 54 last year) and NGO representatives (up nine points to 53) were seen as more credible.

Despite the fact that only one quarter felt the media could be trusted to do what is right, broadcasters experienced the biggest jump in credibility of any group, up 11 points to 35 per cent.

However, the view of TV as a primary source of trustworthy information fell. Newspapers moved up eight points to 31 per cent, while the internet enjoyed a ten-fold increase, with ten per cent turning to it first. TV remained in top spot but fell from 40 to 33 per cent.

The BBC remains by far the most credible daily media source in the UK – named by 61 per cent – despite a fall of 13 points, while The Times was the best-performing newspaper (35).

StrategyOne interviewed 1,500 university-educated 35 to 64-year-olds between December 2004 and January 2005, with a household income of more than £40,000 and an interest in the media, economic and policy affairs.

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