• Trust at a tipping point? A new report finds a global decline in feelings of trust

(PARIS) Havas Group has released its latest Prosumer Report, “The Future of Trust.” The study shows that about two-thirds of respondents believe that humans are less trustworthy than a century ago. The global survey features responses from more than 9,400 people across 27 countries. According to the report, trust appears to be dwindling. Around 7 in 10 Prosumers say they are worried about the loss of trust within their own countries. And 85% say that trust is a rare value today. The report examines how several factors, including proximity, shared values, and time, affect feelings of trust. The report also reviews the consequences from an absence of trust.

We trust people in our inner circles. The study finds people do not extend feelings of trust far beyond their immediate families and friends. More distant ties—including connections rooted in race and ethnicity, political party, and religious beliefs—don’t carry the same weight as in times past.


Distrust comes from negative experiences. Two-thirds of Prosumers and mainstream consumers say that they trust someone until given a reason not to do so. Negative experiences prompt distrust. Further research shows that it takes 12 positive experiences to counter one negative experience.


The promise of peer-trusting models is losing luster. Those surveyed said peer-to-peer networks aren’t always reliable. Among Prosumers, 79% of respondents feel concerned about society’s loss of trusted leaders and are not convinced that the authorities will tell them the truth.

The fear of fake news. Even as people consume more media and have more information than ever before—from an ever-increasing number of sources—respondents say that they feel less informed because they aren’t certain which news sources to trust.


Europeans are adrift. Residents in Europe are less apt to feel strong ties to people outside their immediate families, especially compared with those in Asia. However, in certain countries trust is still built around religious and political influences.

Marianne Hurstel, Worldwide Chief Strategic Officer at Havas Creative, adds, “Our feelings around trust don’t turn, but they do change. We’ve long speculated that trust is easy to lose and hard to gain. This report takes a deep dive and detailed look at one of our closest core values—where it’s been, and where it’s going. It’s perfectly natural to feel our deepest connections bound by proximity, whether it’s immediate family, friends, or neighbors. But zooming out, we explore what factors matter most in defining our choices and our values beyond the familiar.”

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Lorella Gessa
Chief Communications Officer, Havas Group
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