Brand Trust Monitor – National Newspapers

Brand Trust Monitor – National Newspapers

According to Opinium’s latest Brand Trust Monitor*, we trust the newspapers we read, but distrust those we don’t.

A whopping 85% of Guardian readers agreed with the statement, ‘I trust this brand’, ahead of The Independent (81%) and The Daily Telegraph (80%), with The Sun languishing in last place on 54%, behind even The Daily Star (57%).

Not bad trust levels, I hear you say, but these scores fail to take into account the views of non-readers who, let’s face it, make up the vast majority of the potential newspaper market. Combining the views of readers and non-readers, trust levels plummet – from, for example, more than three-quarters (76%) of Times readers who trust the newspaper, to fewer than half (44%) of consumers as a whole who do so. It’s the same story for The Sun – whilst 54% of Sun readers trust the paper, a mere 6% of consumers in total do so.

When asked whether they felt the newspaper they read does a good job, a similar picture emerges, 88% of Guardian readers, 79% of Independent readers, 77% of Times readers and 74% of Daily Mail readers believing their paper to do a good job. But when the views of readers and non-readers are combined, these ratings drop dramatically – to 27%, 23%, 22% and 25% respectively.

Finally, we asked consumers whether they believed the newspaper they read has good intentions towards its customers. Amongst Guardian readers, 77% said Yes, compared with 61% of Daily Mail readers, but a surprisingly low 53% of Times readers – perhaps a legacy of the phone hacking scandal and clear proof – if proof were needed – that brand trust can take years to be earned and a second to be thrown away.

Does consumer trust matter to a newspaper? So what if a mere 16% of consumers trust The Sun, its owner News International might argue, when 61% of its readership does so. But it can’t be good news for any product, when fewer than 1 in 5 consumers as a whole believe that a brand has good intentions towards its customers – as is the case for The Times, Telegraph, Sun, Mirror and Express. Not good news for any industry, but particularly bad news for a sector characterised by falling circulation figures.

*based on an online survey of a nationally representative sample of 2,000 UK adults