The Edelman Trust Barometer 2016 has revealed A Tale of Two Britains. A yawning gap has opened between Britain’s haves and have-nots in Edelman’s annual survey of how much trust we place in the institutions that dominate our lives. The trust that Britons feel in government, business, the media and NGOs depends on where they stand in the social hierarchy.

The survey is Edelman’s 16th annual trust and credibility survey. It measures trust across a number of institutions, sectors and geographies. The 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer surveyed more than 33,000 respondents across 28 countries.

Some of the key findings in the UK reveal:

  • Little trust in politicians, but business stages a trust revival
  • Brexit strongly favoured by those struggling through austerity; the wealthy want to stay in the EU
  • Trust in business reaches a post-crisis high – but only among the well-off
  • The biggest “trust gap” of all institutions is in relation to business
  • Paying tax and behaving responsibly remain the major divers of increased trust in business
  • There has been a huge increase in levels of trust that Brits feel towards traditional media
  • Signs that social media and other sources are seen as less reliable in troubled times
  • Lingering scandals still taint the media
  • Headline levels of trust in media disguise a wide variation in attitudes towards individual news brands
  • Migration and more straight-talking by political leaders top the wishlist of UK citizens

The Edelman Trust Barometer found a 17 percentage point gap between the trust that Informed Publics (university-educated, higher earners with a declared interest in politics and news) have in all institutions compared with the rest of the population.


On Tuesday 19th January Edelman was joined by David Miliband, CEO & President, International Rescue Committee, at the launch of the Edelman Trust Barometer 2016. Miliband delivered the annual Trust lecture alongside Richard Edelman, CEO & President, Edelman, and Ed Williams, CEO, Edelman UK, who presented the Trust Barometer global and UK findings respectively.


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