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20 January 2022
The nature of distrust: Edelman Trust Barometer 2022
SustainabilityCorporate social responsibilityBrand trust
Amid rising distrust in organisations including government and the media, expectations of business are on the rise – but that means there’s more to do, not less, according to 2022’s Edelman Trust Barometer.
Why it matters
A majority of people (59%) tend to distrust until they see evidence of trustworthiness. For marketers, it’s important to consider the techniques that can win over sceptics rather than true believers, even as business continues to be the most trusted of the four main institutions studied.
With nearly half of the 36,000 respondents across 28 countries agreeing that government (48%) and the media (46%) are divisive forces in society. “On competence, business now leads government by a 53-point margin and is viewed as more ethical than government by 26 points,” the organisation explains in a business deep-dive.
The onus is now on business to drive impact.
It’s not all good news, however, as the vacuum of trust leaves people expecting more from business. Still, 63% believe they’re being lied to by business leaders (an increase of seven points).
People demand more of business, especially in the areas of:
Climate change (52%)
Economic inequality (49%)
Workforce reskilling (46%)
Eighty-one percent of respondents want CEOs to lead in discussing public policy or what their companies have done to solve societal problems.
Yet, people are increasingly doubtful of the system, if not of individual firms. 52% of respondents now agree that capitalism as it stands does more harm than good in the world.
What to do about it (Edelman recommendations)
Focus on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) at the core of business strategy.
Action over pledges on climate change.
Ally with expert organisations to innovate and drive impact on the big issues.
Communicate responsibly, show evidence, earn people’s trust.