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In good company: Advertising context matters

April 4, 2018 | By Rande Price, Research Director—DCN @Randeloo

Marketers are concerned about brand safety and focused on investing their media dollars wisely to ensure that their ads are seen in a good environment. And rightly so. A new Australian study from Galaxy Research, The Company You Keep, provides insight into consumers views on trust in relation to the media and advertising they consume.

The framework of Galaxy’s study was the Adtrust Matrix, academic research published in 2009. The Adtrust Matrix is a recognized set of dimensions and elements used to measure trust in advertising. It includes four key characteristics, which breakdown further into 20 attributes:

  1. Reliability: honest, truthful, credible, reliable, dependable, accurate, factual, complete and clear
  2. Usefulness: valuable, good, useful and helps people make the best decisions
  3. Affect: likeable, enjoyable and positive
  4. Willingness to rely on: willing to consider the ad-conveyed information when making purchase-related decisions, willing to rely on ad-conveyed information when making purchase-related decisions, willing to make important purchase-related decisions based on ad-conveyed information and willing to recommend the product or service that I have seen in ads to my friends or family

In total, almost 3,000 Australians adults rated the content and ads against the 20 Adtrust characteristics across Newspapers (National, Metro, Regional, Community), Television, Radio, Magazines, Cinema, Outdoor, Digital news media (newspaper-based websites and apps), Social, Search and Any (other) websites.

Net Trust

The research findings identify newspapers as the medium scoring the greatest in consumer trust in advertising, followed by cinema, radio, magazines and digital news media. Further, the study shows social media scores lowest in consumer trust in advertising.

The Galaxy research finds a high correlation between trust in advertising and the content experienced in the same environment. The consumer scores offer a strong link between the content experience and the advertising experience. An overall high degree of trust in advertising occurs where there is a positive net trust in content. An overall low degree of trust in advertising occurs when there is negative net trust in content.

These findings were similar to those from DCN’s research study, Trust as a Proxy for Brand Value, which also found a high correlation between consumers trust in content and their trust in ads in the same environment. In the DCN study, consumers scored branded sites high for trust in advertising while social media scored the lowest in trust for advertising. Both studies confirm that greater trust in content leads to greater trust in ads.

Trust Drives Purchases

Importantly, the Galaxy research also shows greater trust in ads yields greater purchase intent. In fact, 50% of respondents agree that the more they trust an ad, the more likely they are to buy the product/service.

The Galaxy research finds once again that the environment, or context, in which the ads appear, has an impact on the ads receptivity and effectiveness. It reaffirms the value and importance of working with trusted publishers in the marketplace.

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