Technology Industry Confronts Reputational Challenges from Techlash in New Report from FleishmanHillard

Even Though Consumers Generally Trust Technology Companies, 78% of Americans and 77% of Britons Believe They Should Take More Action to Address the Consequences of Their Policies, Practices and Products

Media OutReach�- 18 June 2019 -�FleishmanHillard today released "Darlings to Damaged? Managing the
Technology Sector's Reputation in an Age of Heightened Scrutiny
," a new report assessing the reputational
challenges technology companies face today, as well as potential solutions to
those challenges in the future. The report follows FleishmanHillard President
and CEO
John�Saunders', recent discussion by the same name
at the
Collision tech conference in Toronto.

advancements have enabled life-saving innovations, boosted productivity,
reduced the consumption of natural resources and more, but we wanted to take a
step back and look at some of the unintended consequences of those benefits,
and their subsequent impact on the tech sector's reputation," Saunders said. "Consumers
are becoming more aware of data collection and how that information is being
shared; tech companies are trying to address any impact they've had through
greater collaboration and transparency; businesses are navigating through the
impacts of artificial intelligence; governments are considering new ways of
managing the sector through legislation and regulation. Through qualitative and
quantitative research, our report explores consumer sentiment and business solutions
in this current environment of heightened scrutiny." �

As part of
the report, FleishmanHillard
TRUE Global Intelligence� conducted a survey and found that while
there has been a lot of attention and conversation around the so-called techlash,
82% of U.S. and 79% of U.K. consumers still generally trust technology
companies. That said, there is some generational
and country divide. In the U.S., the younger generations are more skeptical,
with 26% of Gen Z and 22% of millennials saying they lack trust in technology
companies. That's flipped in the U.K., where the older generations have less
trust, with 38% of the silent generation lacking trust versus 13% of

The research
did show a common path forward, with 70% of Americans and Britons saying they'd
view technology companies more favorably if they were to take more action to
address the consequences of their policies, practices and products. Regulation
may also play an important role, with almost a third of respondents thinking
that technology companies are regulated too little. Further, it was revealed
that some Britons may believe American companies could learn something from the
British -- 60% of Britons believe that U.K. technology companies are regulated
about the right amount, with only 32% saying they're regulated too little.
Fewer Britons, 54%, believe U.S. companies are regulated the right amount, and
39% believe they need to be regulated more.

report's findings combine original research with insights from some of the
world's leading thinkers in this space, including the CEO of the Consumer
Technology Association, the CIO of Canada, a Harvard professor and many more.

report explores topics including:

  • Consumers' general
    level of trust in technology and generational differences;
  • Actions consumers
    expect companies to take to build trust in this space;
  • The role of
    self-regulation, responsibility and shared value in addressing the current
    reputational challenges;
  • The macroeconomic
    and geopolitical situation more broadly;
  • How regulation and
    legislation might play a role in rebuilding trust;
  • What actions
    should be taken to ensure AI is a benefit to business and society; and
  • The convenience
    of hyper-personalization, weighed against security risk and data protection needs

companies navigate the increasingly complex environment, the best approach is
to commit to being transparent, and to work collaboratively with government,
regulators and academia," Saunders said. "At the end of the day, it comes down
to always doing the right thing, and ensuring you're operating with the highest
ethical standards and in the best interest of your stakeholders."

FleishmanHillard's "Darlings to Damaged?" report
includes qualitative and quantitative data.
FleishmanHillard TRUE Global Intelligence� conducted a
survey among a nationally representative sample of 1,002 adults each in the
U.S. and U.K., 18 years of age and older. The U.S. sample is demographically
balanced for age, sex, geographic region, race and education. The U.K. sample
is demographically balanced for age and sex. The surveys were fielded online in
April and May of 2019.

About FleishmanHillard

specializes in public relations, reputation management, public affairs,
brand marketing, digital strategy, social engagement and content strategy.
FleishmanHillard was named Agency of the Year at the 2017 and 2018 North
American Excellence Awards; 2017 and 2018 ICCO Network of the Year for the
Americas; 2019 PRWeek U.S. Outstanding Large Agency; 2019 Holmes Report North
America Large Agency of the Year; 2018 Large Consultancy of the Year by PRWeek
UK; PR News' Best Places to Work in PR 2016-2018; Human Rights Campaign Best
Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality for 2018 and 2019; PR Awards Asia 2017
Greater China Agency of the Year; and NAFE's "Top Companies for Executive
Women" for 2010-2019. The firm's award-winning work is widely heralded,
including at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity. FleishmanHillard
is part of Omnicom Public Relations Group, and has more than 80 offices in 30
countries, plus affiliates in 43 countries.?

About Omnicom Public Relations Group

Omnicom Public Relations Group is a global collective of three of the top
global public relations agencies worldwide and specialist agencies in areas
including public affairs, marketing to women, global health strategy and
corporate social responsibility. It encompasses more than 6,300 public
relations professionals in more than 370 offices worldwide who provide their
expertise to companies, government agencies, NGOs and non-profits across a wide
range of industries. Omnicom Public Relations Group delivers for clients
through a relentless focus on talent, continuous pursuit of innovation and a
culture steeped in collaboration. Omnicom Public Relations Group is part of the
DAS Group of Companies, a division of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE: OMC) that includes
more than 200 companies in a wide range of marketing disciplines including
advertising, public relations, healthcare, customer relationship management,
events, promotional marketing, branding and research.

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