A new study by Galaxy Research into consumer trust in content and advertising across 10 media channels has found a direct correlation between the two, with ads in news media ranked as the most trusted.
The ADTRUST study1, where Galaxy surveyed 2,863 Australians aged 18 and over, scored the various media channels on an established Ad Trust Matrix2 that measures trust across 20 individual elements, grouped into four key characteristics – reliability, usefulness, affect and willingness to rely on.
This revealed key insights into the degree in which audiences trust the advertising and content they consume.
The media tested included newspapers (national, metro, regional, community), TV, radio, magazines, cinema, outdoor, digital news media (newspaper-based websites and apps), social, search and any (other) websites.
The study found that an audience’s (i.e. users of that media) trust in ads was greatest in newspapers, followed by cinema, radio, magazines and digital news media. Ads in social media were the least trusted, followed by search and any (other) websites. Digital news media was the most trusted of any digital channel.
Trust in content by users of each media3 was greatest for national, regional and community newspapers, followed by metro newspapers, radio, magazines and digital news media.
Social media was the only channel where more consumers mistrusted content than those who trusted it. Search and any website ranked higher for trust in content but low for trust in ads.
In addition, the study revealed that trust drives consumer purchase intent, with 50 per cent of respondents agreeing with the statement that the more trusted the ad, the more likely they were to buy the product or service.
Trust in advertising also changes with age, with respondents under the age of 35 having higher trust in all media channels than older users, especially those aged over 55. Younger users, despite being heavier users of digital media, ranked ads in newspapers as the most trustworthy of all media.
NewsMediaWorks commissioned the research following an earlier study by Research Now and Professor Mark Ritson4 among marketers that identified trust – where advertising messages are trusted by the target audience – as the most important element when selecting media.
“We wanted to investigate the trust driver among marketers further to determine the importance of trust in media content and ads for consumers,” NewsMediaWorks CEO Peter Miller said.
“This study proves that brands are indeed judged by the company they keep and, on the evidence, news media is far and away the most trusted.
“We have long known that the quality journalism news media delivers is valued and trusted by its audiences, and now this new study quantifies that trust is critical not only when it comes to media selection, but also for how people view and respond to advertising messages.
“This study will equip advertisers with the facts, and bust misinformed perceptions. We are glad to be starting a conversation about trust, especially in the current environment.”
Further results of the ADTRUST study will be released at the INFORM News Media Summit, to be held on Wednesday 6 September at ICC Sydney. The study can also be downloaded here.
- Galaxy Research online questionnaire, June 2017 was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 2,863 Australians aged 18 years and older. Results displayed are Net ADTRUST and Net CONTENT TRUST which, on a scale from 1 to 7, is Percentage agreeing (5,6,7) less Percentage disagreeing (1,2,3).
- ADTRUST matrix : 20 component characteristics : Developed and validated by Hyeonjin Soh, Leonard N Reid and Karen Whitehill King (2009). Measuring Trust in Advertising. In Journal of Advertising, Vol. 38, Issue 2, p83-104.
- Content trust was not asked for Outdoor or Cinema.
- Positioning News Media : Mark Ritson, Associate Professor of Marketing, Melbourne Business School. Online questionnaire conducted by Research Now, Sept. 2016. n = 260 advertisers.