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Study: Most UK consumers don’t trust social media ads

May 12, 2020

Kantar, the data, insights and consulting company has published a report revealing that social media is the least trusted channel of communication in the UK, while print and broadcast media rank most highly. The report also finds that social media and advertising are the two least trusted sources of information on products and brands.

According to Kantar’s DIMENSION study, which is now in its fourth year, concern over privacy has led to widespread mistrust in advertising, with 58 per cent of UK-based connected consumers in the UK stating they are concerned that more tailored content might compromise their privacy and only 43 per cent saying they prefer to see ads that are relevant to their interests and needs.

The study, which used findings from 8,000 connected consumers in eight markets with a combined total ad spend of $400 billion, also revealed low perceived authenticity around advertising on social channels, with 35 per cent of UK consumers feeling strongly that branded content posts on social media should be labelled in some way.

Commenting on the report, Mark Inskip, CEO Kantar UK & Ireland, Media Division, said: “Now, more than ever is the time for the advertising and media industries to work together to rebuild consumer trust. Steps can be taken to reinstate that trust by enforcing responsible use of consumer data across the board, but everyone in the industry must come together to agree on a clear and unified approach. In the current context, Covid-19 has driven larger audiences than ever to broadcast media, so not only is trust in this platform high, its reach has also increased. However, it is imperative that advertisers clearly disclose their content and display sensitivity in engaging audiences on any platform at such a difficult time.”

Data from Kantar’s DIMENSION report goes on to show that 70 per cent of UK consumers ‘don’t trust’ a lot of what they see on social media platforms. While print media is trusted highly, 39 per cent of UK consumers don’t believe it’s acceptable to target them with news stories paid for by an advertiser.

Inskip continued: “While the findings published today are concerning, they have highlighted the need for us to rebuild trust in communications. Still the smartest approach for brands remains an omnichannel one. The advertising and media industries rely on one another to survive, so during trying times it’s imperative to ensure consumers receive accurate and relevant content, in an appropriate context across all platforms. If authenticity, transparency and consistency are properly maintained, consumer trust can be rebuilt.”

Categories: Ads, Advertising, Articles, Broadcast, Consumer Behaviour, Research, Social Media