Facebook was named the least trusted after several years of claims that it has been used to spread fake news.
The Roy Morgan survey found that companies that moved quickest to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic were rewarded by the public, but memories of the royal commission were still fresh because AMP remains a distrusted brand.
It found that at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bunnings, Woolworths and Qantas were selected by Australians as their most trusted brands – with Commonwealth Bank the big mover.
The Roy Morgan Risk Monitor also found that year-on-year Qantas had risen two trust rankings and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia entered the top-10 most trusted brands for the first time since the Financial Services Royal Commission.
“It’s only a few weeks since we were in lockdown and desperately trying to get to the supermarkets for essentials,” Roy Morgan chief executive Michele Levine said.
“And despite accusations of price gouging, delivery problems, and supply chain failures Woolworths rode the storm best and came out really trusted by Australians.
“Woolworths was on the front foot from the outset and that appears to have resonated with Australians.
“This is also a great result for Bunnings. Australians just love it – even when they can’t have a sausage sizzle.
“Bunnings keeps innovating and creating new connections with its customers. It’s a global retail case study,” she said.
“But Qantas and the CBA are the standout performers. Qantas was frequently in the media flying stranded Australians home from across the globe throughout the pandemic lockdown.
“And in early March Matt Comyn, CEO of the CBA, moved quickly to offer financially stressed customers loan payment relief. He had a high profile during the lockdown and that has paid dividends for the CBA’s level of trust.
The retail sector emerged as Australia’s most trusted industry, with the supermarket sector 2nd and consumer products 3rd.
“On the flip side, Facebook and AMP were revealed as the most distrusted brands in Australia during April 2020.
“AMP still struggles to recover from the royal commission fallout. We saw it leap from virtually no distrust to become the second most distrusted brand in the nation,” Levine said.
“As a consequence, AMP’s soaring distrust saw billions of dollars withdrawn from investments under management and the company’s share price plummet by more than 70 per cent.
“That’s the real risk of distrust. It is not just a reputational issue, it has a material impact on a company’s revenues and market value,” she said.