Public trust in Europe and in the US is higher for NGOs than for
politicians, business leaders and the media, shows Edelman’s annual
“Trust Barometer” survey. Food for thought for Davos
Edelman’s fifth annual “Trust barometer” shows public confidence
in NGOs outpacing that of governments, businesses and the
Published on 25 January the survey shows that NGOs are trusted
by 55% of Americans (up from 47% a year ago) and 45% of Europeans
(up from 41%).
By contrast, less than three in ten in both regions believed
business leaders such as CEOs or CFOs to be reliable sources of
information. This trend is markedly higher when examining
Europeans’ opinions towards individual US companies. Coca-Cola, for
instance, has a trust rating of 69% in the US versus 45% in Europe.
McDonalds is trusted by 58% in the US but by 25% only in Europe.
This trend is branded by Edelman as “trust discount” towards US
corporations operating in Europe.
In addition, Edelman says that more than 40% of opinion leaders
in Canada, Europe and Brazil are “less likely” to purchase US
products because of the Bush administration.
According to Edelman, NGOs now fill a “trust void” in
governments, businesses and the media and are now “the most trusted
institution” in every country surveyed, except China.
Top of the rating list, however, are relatives and peers. “A
person like yourself” experienced the highest jump in credibility
both in the US (from 22% to 56%) and in Europe (from 33% to
Other top trusted people – in all regions – include doctors or
healthcare specialists, who are seen as having no vested interest
in the welfare of a company (56%), and academics (49%).
On the media scene, the internet is increasingly viewed as a
trustworthy source of information, rising from 12% to 19% in the
U.S and from 9% to 13% in Europe. News articles in general are
believed to be more reliable than advertising for 90% of the people
in all regions.