Of the top ten most trusted people in America, five of them are actors — and most are celebrities. That’s according to a Reader’s Digest poll. Why, in 2016, are entertainers (who spend their lives pretending to be someone else) trusted more than politicians and policy-makers or investigative reporters and news anchors? Why are brands like banks and retailers constantly marked down on trust by consumers?

Today, the Brand Newsroom team looks at trust. Who do we trust and why? And how do we build trust where it’s lacking?


Here are some key take-outs:

  • The most trusted people on the list were Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep. Fifth was the late poet and civil rights activist, Maya Angelou.

“We’re living in a crisis of trust. If these are the people we most trust… that’s probably because we don’t know much about them. — Sarah


  • A new report from the Governance Institute of Australia (GIA) identified consumers had problems of trust with: politicians, media, banks, large corporations and retailers.
  • What do these groups have in common? They’re all seen as wanting something from the consumer — be it their vote, a purchase, their money, etc.

“There’s a huge opportunity for brands that do want to earn trust… because we can learn from those category and look at what they’re doing and what the opposite of that might be. — James


  • The most ethical industries, according to the GIA report, were those known for helping people: not-for-profits, fire and ambulance, education and the health sector.
  • Get into a situation where your brand is helping Change your marketing to use a helpful tone, then you’ll have some purchase with consumers.

“Trust is so easily lost, even if you just take your foot off the pedal a little bit. Don’t take your audience for granted. If you do that, you will fail.” — Nic


Here are the links you might need

Have you heard the one about…

Last week James and Sarah took a close look at the death of traditional concepts around demographics.

And here’s a discussion about good news and bad news and how brands can take positive opportunities from negative news.


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