Political Ads Mislead, More Than Half Of Survey Respondents Believe

Swaying votes in favor of a political party, initiative, or candidate is a goal of advertising, but 75.4% of respondents to a BDEX survey said political ads do not prompt them to consider changing their political party. In addition, 63.9% of respondents believe consumer data should not be made available to political advertisers.

Some 61.2% of survey respondents believe they are often misled by political ads, and 63.7% said consumer data should not be available to advertisers.  

BDEX, which provides real-time data for marketers, released results from its 2022 Political Advertising Sentiment Survey on Thursday. About 260 eligible U.S. voters participated. The goal is to determine sentiments toward political advertising and how campaigns can be most effective at reaching target audiences and driving votes for a given candidate or party.

What’s interesting about the findings is the ability to think how the data and findings relate to other marketers such as retail or finance.

With the rise of misinformation, advertisers must be aware of how they are involved in spreading or mitigating the information. To better understand voters' thinking about the ethics of political advertising, BDEX asked questions related to ethical issues.

The data shows 58.9% of survey respondents said they find political advertising unethical, while 57.1% said it is unethical to target certain demographics and 76.5% agree that certain controls should be placed on social media platforms for political advertisers.

Social media provides a source of quick, digestible information, but the value of using these platforms to advertise and spread information is questionable.

Misinformation is known to have spread just as quickly. These challenges force advertisers to ensure that the campaign will gain “actual voting share.”

Part of this means understanding who engages with social content and how political messages impact voter behavior.

The survey found people who primarily get their political news from social media are nearly two times more likely than consumers of traditional media to evaluate candidates based on how others view them — 8.3% vs. average of 4.6%.

About 32.3% of respondents primarily get their political news from social media. Women are 71% more likely to get political news primarily through social media compared with men, although across both genders TV news was the most commonly cited source.

TV and social are the primary channels in which people get their news about politics, with 77.7% of respondents report TV news and social media are their primary sources for political news, and 32.3% of respondents primarily get their political news from social media.

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