Canadians less trusting of institutions?

Edelman released the results of their eighth annual trust barometer.  It’s a fascinating must-read for anyone in the marketing, communications and reputation management (and measurement) biz. 

After a quick breeze through the results, what struck me as particularly interesting was that results illuminating the Canadian perspective don’t seem consistent (generally) with other regions, in some cases, and the report at the aggregate level many cases. 

For example, the report makes the point that trust in business is on the rise and making up for a distinct lack of trust in government.  Not so in Canada according to the results.  Canadians’ trust in government has been relatively flat for the last three years.  Canadians’ trust in business, NGOs both dropped from last year.  In fact, media witnessed the most pronounced erosion in trust (having peaked last year) with a particularly notable decline in trust in business magazines as a source of credible information. 

Similarly, Canadians’ trust in spokespeople including academics, CEOs, and ‘a person like you/me’ fell while ‘a regular employee of a company’ rose. 

Social responsibility is more important to Canadians than corporate brand or financial performance.  While this was true of many other regions, what’s interesting to note here is that social responsibility and ensuring products meet accepted environmental and social standards was more important to Canadians than the other main regions (U.S. Latin America and the EU). 

Encouragingly, though, while it would seem that Canadians’ are less trusting of our own institutions, Canadian companies are, ironically, among the most trusted in the world, the report indicates.   


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