Many consumers say companies should avoid having their ads appear next to objectionable material online, including pornography, hate speech and violent content, according to a new survey.
The survey, conducted last month by the industry organizations Trustworthy Accountability Group and Brand Safety Institute, examined consumers' attitudes toward hate speech, pornography and other objectionable material online. For the report, the organizations questioned 1,017 U.S. adults, via SurveyMonkey.
The vast majority of respondents (85%) said they believe at least some online content is either offensive, dangerous or inappropriate for some users.
Most respondents also said some type of content should be avoided by advertisers. Nearly three out of four respondents (73%) said advertisers shouldn't run ads near pornographic content and hate speech, while almost as many (70%) said advertisers should steer clear of violent content.
Slightly more than half of respondents (53%) said advertisers should avoid running ads near pirated movies or tv shows. More than four in 10 (41%) said advertisers should avoid having ads appear near “controversial political views.”
The majority of respondents also said they would stop purchasing products that appeared adjacent to terrorist recruiting videos and neo-Nazi propaganda. Those answers, however, came in response to questions asking respondents how much they would curb spending when ads were shown next to offensive content.
For instance, one of the questions was worded as follows: “If you discovered an ad for a consumer product you regularly buy had appeared next to racist neo-Nazi propaganda, how much would you reduce your future purchases of that product?”
The options for answers were, “I would stop buying it,” “I would reduce my purchases by more than half,” “I would reduce my purchases by less than half,” and “I would buy the same amount.”
Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they would stop buying the product shown next to neo-Nazi propaganda.
When researchers substituted the phrase “terrorist recruiting videos” for “racist neo-Nazi propaganda,” 67% of respondents said they would stop buying the product.
A question about a malware-laden ad generated the most extreme response, with 73% of respondents saying they would stop purchasing the product.