A study commissioned by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) and the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA), and conducted by Nielsen, shows that nearly 80% of people trust advertising.
The highest trust comes from advertisements in newspapers (86%) followed by television and radio (83% each). 67% of the respondents in the study trusted ads on social media while online video ads are trusted by 72% and the number drops for online pop up ads to 62%.
Texts/SMS on mobile phones garner the least trust with only 51% of the respondents showing trust to ads.
The Trust in Advertising study was conducted with people across age groups in 20 centres in India, including metros, smaller towns and rural areas.
TV (94%) was the most common medium for consumption of ads, followed by digital (82%), print (77%) and radio (29%). Viewership of TV ads is driven by non-metro markets. Viewership of ads on digital is similar in rural (82%) to metros (83%).
Among sectors, audiences displayed a very high level of trust for ads of educational institutions at 82%. Ironically, ASCI finds that a significant portion of misleading ads come from the education sector. Real estate advertisements were amongst the least trusted by consumers.
Manisha Kapoor, secretary general, ASCI, said, “ASCI’s job of monitoring the education sector is even more crucial, given these findings. In India, the poorest of people prioritise education spends over other necessities. Most educational institutions promise job guarantees or make false claims of 'being the No 1' or 'guaranteeing 100% placement' without any objective data or evidence. We are doing our best to make sure that such false advertising is removed from the market.”
About 70% of the respondents said they trust advertisements which are endorsed by celebrities.
Kapoor added, “I thank ISA for being a joint convener of the Trust in Advertising study. ASCI feels responsible for not only maintaining consumer trust in advertising but also guiding brands to advertise honestly and impactfully. Consumer trust and brand reputation are some of the most valuable assets an organisation owns, and honest advertising is a key to building brand value over the long term. This is the basis of self-regulation. This study has revealed some very interesting findings that will help brands understand where they need to do more work in the area of building trust levels with consumers. For ASCI, an independent self-regulator, there are several insights that will help us engage better with consumers.”
Sunil Kataria, chairman, ISA, said, “Brands are built on the back of long term communication with consumers and audiences. It is in the advertisers’ own self-interest to make sure that all communication is honest and truthful, so consumers can trust advertising messages, and thereby, brands. This study helps advertisers, agencies, media owners and planners understand what works well and introspect on what needs improvement.”