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Consumers Aren't A Trusting Bunch

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I guess this wouldn't be a good time for ads whose underlying theme is "trust me." It's not just that the numbers in the latest Harris Poll on trust in various industries are lackluster at best (see the chart). In nearly every case, the "trustworthy" score in the current survey is lower than it was in similar polls conducted during the last few years. In the case of the pharmaceutical sector, the current tally is barely half what it was in 2003 (13 percent). Auto-makers are also down significantly from their 2003 score (14 percent). Even the supermarket sector, which tends to fare relatively well in these polls, is down from its 2003 score (40 percent). The packaged-food industry took more of a hit (down from 23 percent). Software firms managed a one-point uptick since 2003, even as their hardware counterparts gave up 7 percentage points.