Trust Is A Must

If advertising is created to sell a product, service or even an idea, it's helpful if the message is not only clear but also believable to the intended audience. According to a new Adweek Media/Harris Poll of 2,098 U.S. adults surveyed online in October, only one in five American adults say they trust that advertising is honest in its claims all or most of the time. Rather, a majority say they trust that advertising is sometimes honest in its claims, and just over one in ten say that they never trust that advertising is honest in its claims.

Although all adults seem somewhat unsure about the believability of advertising claims, older adults are more suspicious than younger adults. While 90% of young adults aged 18-34 say they trust that advertising is honest in its claims at least sometimes, 86% of older adults agree. Of those, 35-44 say this, as do 84% of those 45-54, and 81% of those 55 years and older. Conversely, almost one in five adults 55 and older say that they never trust that advertising is honest, compared to less than one in ten 18-34 year olds who say the same.

Trust That Advertising And Its Claims Are Honest (All U.S. adults; % of Category)

 

Gender

Age

Children in HH

Frequency

Total

Male

Female

18-34

35-44

45-54

55+

Has Child in HH

No Children in HH

At least sometimes (NET)

85%

83%

87%

90%

86%

84%

81%

87%

84%

All/Most of the time (NET)

19

20

19

24

25

15

16

24

18

All of the time

1

1

1

2

1

1

-

1

1

Most of the time

18

18

18

21

23

14

15

23

16

Sometimes

65

63

67

67

61

69

65

63

66

Never

13

14

11

8

10

12

18

9

14

Not at all sure

3

3

2

1

4

4

2

4

2

Source: Harris Interactive, November 2010

When asked who they trust to ensure that advertising is honest in its claims, Americans are split as 29% say that they trust regulation by the government to ensure advertising is honest in its claims, while 23% say they trust the self-regulation by advertisers and advertising industry more. However, half of Americans say they trust neither.

Just as younger adults showed less skepticism about advertising honesty, younger adults also show more confidence in the various regulatory checks and systems. Adults aged 18-34 are more likely than those 55 and older to say both that they trust government regulation (33% vs. 26%) and advertising self-regulation (26% vs. 18%) to ensure that advertising is honest. 56% of older Americans, 55 and older, say that they trust neither the industry nor the institution to regulate advertising honesty, compared to 44% of those 35-44 and 41% of 18-34 year olds.

Americans with higher education say they trust the government to regulate advertising much more than those with less formal educations do. Almost two in five who have graduated college say that they trust government regulation, compared to 29% who have attended, but not graduated, from college, and 22% who have not attended any college.

Most Trusted To Ensure That Advertising Is Honest In Its Claims (All U.S. adults; % of Category)

 

Age

Gender

Education

Most Trusted

Total

18-34

35-44

45-54

55+

Male

Female

H.S. or less

Some college

College grad +

Regulation by the government

29%

33%

29%

27%

26%

29%

28%

22%

29%

38%

Self-regulation by the advertisers and the ad industry

23

26

27

24

18

24

22

22

24

24

Neither

48

41

44

50

56

47

49

55

47

38

Source: Harris Interactive, November 2010

The report concludes by noting that it seems regardless of what principles or statutes an advertiser conforms to, it may not convince many consumers about the quality of the product or promise being promoted. However, the fact that younger Americans are less skeptical than older Americans may be a positive. It's possible that both the honesty of ad claims and the regulation of the industry are improving, yet older Americans may still be cautious, especially if they have memories from previous negative experiences.

For additional information about this Harris Poll, pleast visit here.

 

 

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1 comment about "Trust Is A Must".
  1. Byron Wolt from Speak to Students , November 18, 2010 at 1:43 p.m.

    Thanks for the information. Face to face is in my experience the best way to build trust. Other people experience and referrals are nice, but the most solid bond is developed in highly effective colloquial interaction. That interaction starts with point of contact employees.