Telco and CPG sectors have gotten big boosts in consumer trust

A pandemic update to Edelman's annual report shows confidence in business has gone up overall, but areas of improvement remain.

trust-hand-shake

When it comes to trust gains for front line sectors, telcos and CPGs are leading the way, outpacing even the healthcare sector.

For a spring update to Edelman’s Trust Barometer that factors in the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the global PR firm surveyed 13,200 respondents in 11 markets, including 1,200 in Canada, between April 15 and April 23, 2020.

None of the sectors covered in the update had a decrease in trust compared to when this year’s regular barometer came out in January. Telcos and CPGs had the biggest boosts among Canadian respondents, with 19% and 17% higher trust ratings, respectively – helping telcos pull out of their spot as the least-trusted sector in the country. They were followed by healthcare (which had a 14% increase, still the most-trusted sector in Canada), financial services (a 12% increase, pulling it out of a tie for second-least trusted sector) and food and beverage sectors (an 11% increase, putting it ahead of the education and technology sectors).

The hotel, insurance and airline sectors were the only sectors to not get an increase in consumer trust – leaving them as the three least-trusted sectors among Canadians.

But despite overall trust in business going up by 8%, Edelmen points out that there are some areas of improvement when it comes to the pandemic: only 53% of Canadians surveyed believe business is doing well or very well at “ensuring the products and services that people need most are readily available and easily accessible.” Only 48% of Canadians believe businesses are doing a good job of protecting essential employees who may be at risk of exposure to the virus.

The business trust boost also does not extend to CEOs overall, with 28% of Canadians believing they are “doing an outstanding job meeting the demands placed on them by the pandemic,” compared to 31% who said the same of the heads of non-profits, 54% who said the same of national governments and 55% who said the same of local governments.

Over half (53%) of respondents expect businesses to provide economic relief and support, the biggest role they are expected to play in the crisis; however, there are still far more people (91%) who expect the government to provide that relief. And only 19% of Canadians expect businesses to inform the public about the pandemic, compared to 82% who expect the government and 61% who expect the media to do so.

Trust in the media has also gone up by 5%, with the biggest gains for traditional media (up 10% to 75%); though they also experienced gains, owned media, social media and search engines still rank below Edelman’s 60% threshold for being regarded as trustworthy.