IAB: Advertising In News Builds Brand Trust, Likeability, Spurs Action

Contrary to concerns that advertising in news content will create negative associations for a brand, it actually tends to make consumers trust and like brands more, as well as increase the likelihood they will take actions like recommending a brand, visiting its site, or considering buying its products.

That’s the bottom line of a new “news halo” study from IAB and Magid Research. The main sample for the survey, fielded September 9-14, comprised 2,029 U.S. consumers balanced by region, gender/age, and ethnicity. 

“Never has trusted news been more important in our society,” commented IAB CEO David Cohen. “While historically some brands have avoided news due to negative association concerns, the study found that those concerns were unfounded. News outlets provide a powerful platform to connect with consumers. Put simply, news saves lives and news builds brands.”

For 84% of consumers, trust in a brand remains neutral or actually increases — by as much as 6 percentage points, depending on the vertical — as a result of advertising in news content, the research found (chart above). 

Although consumers were found to be much more engaged with “serious” or breaking news, brand trust was enhanced regardless of the type of news in which a brand advertised. 

Just 16% of consumers said that seeing a brand’s ads in news makes them trust brands less. 

On average, nearly half (47%) of consumers said that advertising in news increases their positive perceptions of brand attributes, including heightened perceptions of brand relevance, customer focus and quality: 

In addition, consumers who see a brand advertising on their favorite news outlets are 45% more likely to visit the brand’s website or search online for more information about it, 43% more likely to consider buying it, and 39% more likely to recommend it, among other benefits:


Further, amid all of the talk about mistrust in the press and “fake news,” this research found seven in 10 U.S. consumers ages 18 to 54 saying that they find their chosen news sources to be trustworthy. 

Three in four said they seek national and international news on a weekly basis. On average, they follow four news sources.  

Among those 18 to 54, 25% were dropped during screening for not following news weekly, and 13% for completely rejecting all advertising.

The executive summary is online

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