Ponemon Institute and Carlson Marketing Announce Results of 2007 Canada's Most Trusted Companies for Privacy Study

Traverse City, Mich. and Toronto, Ont. | August 21, 2007

Against a backdrop of negative publicity related to poor data security and compromised privacy, Carlson Marketing Worldwide and the Ponemon Institute offer some good news for a number of Canadian companies: the 2007 Canada's Most Trusted Companies for Privacy Study, an annual report ranking public perception of companies' privacy and data security practices.

The study examined both Canadian companies as well as global brands operating in Canada, gauging perceptions at the time the study was conducted. The results of the study should not be interpreted as a reflection of any company's actual privacy or data security practices, but simply as a measure of consumer brand trust, which the Ponemon Institute has found often results in stronger brand loyalty and increased revenue.

According to the 2007 Canada's Most Trusted Companies for Privacy Study, Canada's three most trusted brands are:
1. Bell Canada
2. Bank of Montreal
3. Royal Bank of Canada

"At Bell, the protection of our customers' personal information is baked into everything we do. We are constantly striving to develop better products and processes to further safeguard customer privacy and increase customer convenience," said David Elder, vice president, regulatory law and Bell Privacy ombudsman. "The most recent example of this is the recent launch of our Voice Identification Service, which can quickly and accurately confirm the identity of a customer calling our customer service centre, using the unique sound of the customer's own voice. We are honoured to be selected as the Most Trusted Canadian Company in the protection of personal information."

For 2007, financial services and telecommunications companies made a strong showing, taking six of the top ten positions in the rankings. Canadian brands also seemed to perform better than non-Canadian brands, earning seven of the top ten rankings, including the top four positions.

The 2007 Canada's Most Trusted Companies for Privacy Study is a web- and postal mail-based study that gathers information from survey participants during a 51 day period that ended on June 13, 2007. A statistical analysis of useable responses related to 132 companies and/or brands, 56 of which were Canadian organizations, followed. A complete description of the study's methodology is included with the report.

"As the leading Relationship Marketing agency in Canada, we invest tremendous energies helping our clients create authentic, trust-based relationships with their customers, employees and channel partners, said Stephen Fraser, senior vice president, Strategy, Carlson Marketing Canada. "Our ongoing relationship with the Ponemon Institute and its cross-border trust studies is important in demonstrating the value of these marketing strategies. Because in relationships, trust is the bedrock."

"Measuring consumer trust and brand confidence is always interesting, particularly as it relates to privacy, and our annual Canada's Most Trusted Companies for Privacy Study is no exception, said Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder, Ponemon Institute. "Companies that stand out in this ranking have successfully managed to build and maintain a positive perception of their privacy and data security practices at a time when so much of the news is negative. Although this study does not examine actual practices, it's a strong bet that brand trust is built upon a foundation of progressive privacy and data security policy and programs."

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