Industry Regulation and Public Expectation: High in the OECD, High in Countries’ Critical Sectors

Public demand for increased regulation is markedly higher in industrialised nations than in emerging economies, the latest GlobeScan Radar data show.

Respondents across 20 countries were asked to say whether they thought there was not enough, the right amount, or too much regulation across eight industry sectors.

North America, northern Europe and Australia all emerge as regions where demand for regulation across the board is high. China is the only emerging economy which shares this perspective—perhaps an indication of the widespread assumption that government playing a central role in the economy. High demand for more regulation in the USA is clearly at variance with current political rhetoric that demands less ‘big government’. Those in developing nations in Africa and Latin America, in contrast, seem to prefer a light touch approach to regulation while their economies develop.

The findings also reveal that it is often the sector that is critical to the local economy that faces highest public expectations for tight regulation—for instance, the mining sector in Chile (particularly after the recent incident when miners were trapped underground for several months), the oil industry in the USA or the banking sector in the UK. Companies in the sectors in question can expect to come under significant pressure and scrutiny from government and other stakeholders in these key countries to ensure they meet public demands to operate responsibly.

 

Finding from the GlobeScan Radar, Wave 2, 2010

For more information on this finding, please contact Sam Mountford (Read Bio)

Climate concern falls sharply, but public remains conflicted

Public concern about climate change has been on the up since the late 1990s. Fifteen years ago, those who saw it as a very serious environmental issue were significantly outnumbered by those who worried about more tangible and immediate environmental concerns—water pollution and air pollution among them—but by 2009 climate concern had substantially caught up with other environmental worries. Contrary to what many expected, climate concern continued to rise as recession hit, but the last year has seen a sharp … “Climate concern falls sharply, but public remains conflicted”

Increased Concern over GM Crops in Many Countries, Particularly USA

Genetic modification of food crops is an issue on which public concern has increased significantly in a number of countries over the last few years. Most notably, despite the wide prevalence of GM foods available for sale in the US, this is the market where public concern about genetic modification has increased most sharply—the proportion rating GM crops as a very serious issue now stands at 41 per cent, up 16 points since 2003. Despite the high media profile in the UK and refusal by many major food retailers to stock GM foods, concern there is lower. It is highest in Mexico, where nearly two-thirds consider the issue to be serious.

 

Finding from the GlobeScan Radar, Wave 2, 2010

For more information on this finding, please contact Sam Mountford (Read Bio)

First Signs of Recovery in Global Public’s Assessment of Companies’ CSR

GlobeScan’s latest tracking of global public expectations and perceptions around business in society reveals that, after a decade in which consumers’ assessment of the corporate world’s performance in embracing social and environmental responsibility worsened steadily, companies may be starting to claw back some public esteem.

The gulf between what people expect of companies in terms of CSR, and how they rate their performance remains substantial, as this 15-country chart illustrates. But this year’s data shows that, at least in industrialized nations, companies’ investment and focus on communicating a responsible message to the public over the last decade may be starting to pay dividends. Continued improvement will very likely depend on companies’ ability to deploy their corporate brands in a credible and holistic way in their CSR messaging.

 

Finding from GlobeScan Radar Wave 1, 2011

For more information on this finding, please contact Sam Mountford (Read Bio)

Enthusiasm for Free Market Drops Sharply in USA

This finding is being featured in The Economist

American public support for the free market economy has dropped sharply in the past year, and is now lower than in China and Brazil, and equal to that in India. The GlobeScan Radar 2010 findings show that there has been a sharp fall in the number of Americans who think that the free market economy is the best economic system for the future. In 2002, four in five Americans (80%) saw the free market as the best economic system for the future—the highest level of support anywhere in the world. Support started to fall away in the following years and recovered slightly after the financial crisis in 2007/8, but has plummeted since 2009, falling 15 points in a year so that less than three in five (59%) now see free market capitalism as the best system for the future.

 

Finding from GlobeScan Radar Wave 2, 2010 

For more information on this finding, please contact Sam Mountford.

Egyptians more focused on costly food than lack of democracy?

As a new military-led government takes the reins in Cairo following Hosni Mubarak’s departure, our most recent issues polling is a reminder that bread-and-butter issues, as much as democratic reform, may have been instrumental in the popular uprising, and will be critical if public support for a new government is to be secured. Food prices, rather than free speech, appears to be the problem that most preoccupies Egyptians.

GlobeScan found last summer that Egyptians were more likely to have talked about rising food and energy prices than any other global problem over the last month (see map), and that Egypt was alongside Indonesia, Nigeria, and Mexico in seeing food and energy prices as among the top three most important global issues. In contrast, Egyptians ranked human rights abuses only as the ninth most serious global problem. With prices of food commodities across the world expected to soar further over months to come, can we expect to see Egyptian-style unrest spread across the developing world?

 

Finding from GlobeScan Radar Wave 2, 2010

 

For more information on this finding, please contact Sam Mountford.