Printed newspapers are the most trusted medium for both content and advertising, according to the latest ADTRUST study conducted by Ipsos Connect.
Conversely, social media channels have the lowest level of trust when it comes to both content and advertising.
The study surveyed more than 2,500 Australians and measures consumers’ trust in the content and advertising in the media they consume.
Results are represented as net figures, that is, the percentage of those that trust a medium minus the percentage of those that mistrust a medium.
Consumer trust in the content on social media channels is -22 per cent and trust in ads are at -26 per cent.
At the other end of the spectrum, trust in the content of printed newspapers is +27 and trust in ads is +23 per cent.
News websites were the most trusted digital channel for content and ads at 21 per cent and 11 per cent respectively.
Trust was strong across all newspaper categories and led by regional newspapers at 53 per cent trust in content and 46 per cent trust in ads.
Importantly, the study found that trust drives purchase intent, with almost one in two respondents agreeing that the more they trust an ad, the more likely they are to buy a product or service.
Accountability is an important driver of trust in ads, with consumers recognising that regulation and reputation are key reasons why advertising in a media channel can be trusted.
Consumers consider social media to be unregulated and it was difficult to determine if its content was factual.
NewsMediaWorks CEO Peter Miller said: “This is the third study into ADTRUST and the findings are clear and consistent – news media dominates as the most trusted media channel for content and advertising.
“This is driven by the independence and editorial integrity of our news media brands.
“News media stands head and shoulders above all other media channels for trusted, authentic and credible news and information.”
He added: “This is why 94 per cent of Australians continue to engage with news media.
“The halo effect to trusted advertising has been proven by the ADTRUST study – trust in content and trust in ads are intermutual in the eyes of consumers.
“Brands benefit from the company they keep.”
The study found that trust in advertising also changes with age and income, with respondents under the age of 35 having higher trust in all media channels than older users.
Younger users, despite being heavier users of digital media, ranked ads in newspapers as the most trustworthy of all media.
Those with a higher income were more trusting of ads in newspapers than lower income earners.