How Misleading Content Impacts Brand Perception, Favorability And Trust: IAS Report

Consumer trust in a brand has become crucial to purchase decisions. Some 51% of consumers say online content adjacency influences their trust in a brand, and 69% say their level of trust influences their decision to engage with a brand’s products and services.

Integral Ad Science released a report Wednesday that examines misleading content and how it impacts consumer sentiment and brand favorability.

The company surveyed approximately 1,189 U.S. adults in July on their perspectives and found that while 91% of consumers are confident in their ability to detect misinformation, 63% say they are likely or very likely to remember brands that advertise next to misinformation. In addition, 65% are likely or very likely to stop buying from a brand that advertises next to misinformation.

The study, Advertising in the Age of Misinformation, suggests 62% of consumers believe advertisers, agencies, and publishers are equally responsible for ads appearing near misinformation. Of that, 16% of consumers put the blame on advertisers, 14% point to publishers, and 7% point to agencies.

Advertisers participating in the survey also say they are concerned about misinformation and the impact it may have on consumer perceptions.

Seventy-three percent of media experts agree or strongly agree that ad buyers and sellers must avoid misinformation, while 43% are concerned about the impact on their company’s reputation in the event that their ad falls close to misinformation on a publisher’s page, and 42% are concerned about consumer distrust in legitimate content and advertising in the event of an adjacency near misinformation

In their daily lives, there are many situations in which consumers encounter misinformation. In fact, 73% of consumers check digital media several times a day on their smart devices, and the same percentage of consumers agree or strongly agree that they would feel unfavorably toward brands that have been associated with misinformation.

About 80% of consumers believe misinformation is a serious issue in digital media, and 71% of regularly encounter misleading digital content. Words like fabricated, misleading, manipulated, and propaganda all come to mind.

Some 60% look to social media for information, while 57% look to entertainment; 52%, news; 50%, music; 49%, shopping; 36%, gaming; 27%, health and wellness; 24%, sports; 21%, financing; 17%, fitness; and 17%, travel.

Some 27% look at the legitimacy of the source to detect misinformation, followed by 73% look at legitimacy of the supporting evidence. About 55% consider provocative headlines; 52%, the author; and 19% humorous or satirical language.

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