We’re Low On Trust. Period.

Edelman put out a new study about trust and it has residents of Adlandia hopping.
Big Orange Slide says, “Just as many marketers are getting comfortable with shifting dollars to social media, Edelman’s latest ‘Trust Barometer’ presents something of a wrinkle in the plan: the number of people who view their friends and peers as credible sources of information about a company dropped by almost half since 2008, from 45% to 25%.”
The Ad Contrarian says, “Perhaps the most devastating aspect of this study is how it undermines the foundational myth of social media marketing hustlers. Their precious ‘conversations’ are apparently a whole lot less powerful than they would have us believe.”
Jonathan Salem Baskin, writing for Ad Age says, “Nobody with responsibility for a bottom line has ever felt comfortable with social media as a replacement for traditional advertising.”
Hmmm…everyone’s laser-focused on the “we don’t trust our friends” bit, when the reality is much broader than that. Let’s look at this graph from Edelman’s executive summary:
The takeaway is no one trusts anyone very much, especially when the source is dealing in any form of commercial speech.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.