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22 . 05 . 20

Print media perceived as strongest trust beacon

Words by: Print Power
Consumer trust has been a key differentiator for print media over years. The recent Kantar study reveals, with pre-Corona fieldwork, that despite the continued growing importance of social media in our daily lives, print media remains the most trusted channel. Or maybe, it is because of the growing importance of social media and the associated flaws that print media is the best channel for credible and trustworthy news and information.

The power of print at a glance

  • Growing mistrust among consumers towards advertising and social media
  • Newspapers confirmed to be most trusted for news and information
  • 70% of Britons said they don’t trust social platforms

The Kantar study indicates a desperate need for the advertising and media industries to work together to rebuild public trust. But amid an enormous public health crisis, can consumers’ concerns be remedied?

Earlier this month, Kantar’s Dimension study revealed a brewing mistrust among consumers towards both advertisers and social media platforms.

The report surveyed 8,000 people in eight markets, including the US, UK and China, which have a combined total ad spend of $400bn. It found advertising to be the least likely source people would use to garner information about a business, with just 14% saying they trust advertisers in this respect.

When it came to seeking out news and information, social media – which captures $84bn worth of global ad budgets) – was ranked as the least trusted medium, with just 17% of respondents citing the likes of Facebook and Twitter as a reputable source.

Across the world, newspapers ranked the highest in the media category with 37% of people saying they had conviction in print. TV and radio followed with 31% and 32% of respondents respectively saying they had faith in these mediums to carry accurate information.

Kantar found UK consumers to be among the most cynical globally, with Brits showing a “concerning” lack of trust in social media.

We need our advertising to appear in a trusted medium: it’s delivering our message and must be delivered effectively. If we appear in a medium that’s not trusted by its audience, consumers aren’t going to trust our message.
Micaela López Parma
Regional Media Lead, Colgate-Palmolive

70% of people in the UK said they ‘don’t trust’ a lot of what they see on social platforms, including posts from brands. There’s trouble afoot for premium publishers from a brand perspective too; though the medium emerged as highly trusted, some 39% of UK consumers said they didn’t feel it was acceptable for them to be targeted by news stories paid for by an advertiser.

In the UK market especially, concerns over privacy following the fallout from scandals like Cambridge Analytica have led to widespread mistrust in advertising.

Though advertisers like Unilever and L’Oreal are continually seeking out ways to make first-party data work harder for them post-GDPR, there is scepticism in the market about how tailored content from brands compromises privacy with 58% of Brits citing this as a concern.

Just 43% of people in the UK said they preferred to see ads relevant to their interests and needs, versus 54% of people globally.

The study also revealed low perceived authenticity around advertising on social channels, numbers that could spell trouble for the nascent influencer marketing industry.

35% of UK consumers said they felt strongly that branded content posts on social media should be labelled in some way – a nuanced issue that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has been seeking to remedy by working with publishers and influencers directly for the past 12 months.

Source: First published in The DRUM - Advertising and social media face fresh trust issues amid global crisis ByRebecca Stewart -15 May 2020

Image: Kantar Dimensions Study 2020