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Edelman Trust Barometer

Microsoft the most trusted? Wild. But it’s the truth according to Edelman’s latest trust barometer.

Global opinion leaders say their most credible source of information about a company is now “a person like me,” which has risen dramatically to surpass doctors and academic experts for the first time, according to the seventh annual Edelman Trust Barometer, a survey of nearly 2,000 opinion leaders in 11 countries. In the U.S., trust in “a person like me” increased from 20% in 2003 to 68% today. Opinion leaders also consider rank-and-file employees more credible spokespersons than corporate CEOs (42% vs. 28% in the U.S.).

The Edelman Trust Barometer found Microsoft Corporation the most trusted global company, followed by iconic companies in their home markets, including Toyota in Japan, Haier in China, Samsung in South Korea, and Petrobras in Brazil.

The Internet is a big gainer as a trustworthy source:

Television is the big loser in media trustworthiness with the rise of the Internet. When asked where they turn first for trustworthy information, 29% of respondents in the U.S. still cite TV first, down from 39% three years ago. The Internet is now cited by 19%, up from 10% in 2003. The same trend is evident in the U.K., where television has declined from 42% to 33% as respondents’ first choice, while the Internet has risen from 5% to 15%. Newspapers, which are often thought to be the most serious casualty of the Internet wave, show rankings essentially unchanged in most markets at approximately 20%. Newspapers remain the first trusted medium of choice for respondents in France, Germany, Japan, Brazil, Korea, and Italy.

I couldn’t see it in any of the materials on Edelman’s site, but one thing they ought to do is indicate which of the companies in the survey are clients – like Microsoft.

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