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Report: 2021 Trust in Advertising Study

New York-based audience measurement company Nielsen has released the results of an international study into consumer trust in advertising. The “2021 Trust in Advertising Study” surveyed 40,000 individuals in the European, Middle Eastern, African, Asia Pacific, North American and Latin American regions.

According to the study, consumers between the ages of 25 to 40 and those 41 to 56 have the most trust in advertising, while those between the ages of 15 to 24 and those 57 to 66 have the least trust. The study found comparable levels of trust in advertising between men and women. The most trusted form of advertising is word-of-mouth, according to the report, trusted by 89% of respondents. Brand sponsorships at sporting events were trusted “completely or somewhate” by 81% of respondents. Advertising messages delivered by influencers were trusted by only 23% of respondents.

In addition, trust levels vary depending on industry type, according to the report, with tobacco ads the least trusted. Humorous ads were generally better regarded than ads based on action, sports, children, cars, sentiment, competition, athletics or celebrities. Ads featuring health themes, real-life situations and value-orientated situations were also better regarded that those using sexual, automotive, competitive or sports themes.

“It is essential for marketers to hone in on the key influencing factors that have the greatest impact on Canadians’ trust in advertising,” said Paige Sontag, director of client strategy at Nielsen Canada. “From this research we know only 59% of Canadians trust the advertising that reached them completely or somewhat, a lower percentage than other global markets. When it comes to effective marketing in Canada, Canadians most trust recommendations from people they know, emails they signed up for, editorial content such as newspapers, and branded websites. The message behind the advertising also has a direct and important impact on effectiveness. In Canada the messages that resonate most are based in humor, real-life situations, and value-oriented campaigns.”

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