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Trust in


Globally, trust in the institutions
of business, media, government
and NGOs dropped three points
in 2017. Media is at all-time lows,
government trust continues to
erode, and two-thirds of surveyed
countries are now “distrusters,”
with under 50% trust.


A broken

Globally, there is now a 15-point
gap between the trust held by the
informed public and that held by
the mass population—a threepoint increase in the last year.


Failing system +
fears = action


Ten of the 28 surveyed countries
combine an above-average lack
of belief that the system is working
with multiple societal fears—the
same hotspots of recent populist
actions: France, Italy, Mexico,
South Africa, Spain, Brazil,
Colombia, the U.K., Australia
and the U.S.


Peers highly

Expectations for
business high
The three most important attributes
for building trust in a company are
treating employees well, offering
high-quality products and services,
and listening to customers—and
they matter even more to those who
believe the system isn’t working.

To explore the complete 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer,

The media
echo chamber
People are nearly four times more
likely to ignore information that
supports a position they don’t
believe in; don’t regularly listen
to those with whom they often
disagree (53%); and are more
likely to believe search engines
(59%) over human editors (41%).


For the first time, “a person like
yourself” is as credible a source
for information about a company
as a technical or academic expert
(all three at 60%). Credibility of
CEOs is at an all-time low, with
a 12-point decline in the last year.


Concerns &
Leading the list of societal
concerns and fears we measured
that are commonly associated with
populist actions are corruption
(69% concerned; 40% fearful);
globalization (62% concerned;
27% fearful); eroding social values
(56% concerned; 25% fearful);
immigration (55% concerned; 28%
fearful); and the pace of innovation
(51% concerned; 22% fearful).

Globally, 53% believe that the
system is not working for them—
it’s unfair, doesn’t give them hope
for the future and leaders won’t
fix problems. 32% are uncertain,
and only 15% agree the system
is working.


Trust inequality

Business adds
to fears
53% agree that the pace of change
in business and industry is too fast.
They worry about losing their jobs
due to lack of training or skills
(60%); foreign competitors (60%);
immigrants who work for less (58%);
jobs moving to cheaper markets
(55%); and automation (54%).


With the people
The trust crisis demands a new
operating model for organizations by
which they listen to all stakeholders;
provide context on the issues that
challenge their lives; engage in
dialogue with them; and tap
peers, especially employees,
to lead communications and
advocacy efforts.

All data is based on general population sample unless otherwise noted.