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Consumers Mistrust of Advertising


ashlOnly 3% of Americans completely trust the advertisements they see, read or hear, while 11% don’t trust them at all, according to the results of a survey conducted by YouGov. The survey found that among American adults who see any advertising at least once a month, 44% find them to be fairly (37%) or very (7%) dishonest, and half don’t trust them.

Frequently used tactics in advertising don’t seem to matter much to respondents, according to the study. Although 15% of respondents are more likely to believe the claims made by brands that compare themselves with a named competitor, 26% are less likely to believe those claims. A similar pattern emerges when it comes to the inclusion of testimonials from experts or scientists: 16% are more likely to believe these claims, but 29% are less likely to. As for mentioning awards won by the product or service? It seems a wash: 20% are more likely to believe the claim, while 22% are less likely.

Which product types are the worst offenders? Diet products, financial or insurance services/products and pharmaceutical products are the least trustworthy, according to respondents, while casual dining restaurants (other than fast food) and clothing stores engender the most trust.

One apparel brand, Under Armour, may be pushing the trust button however. According to the Baltimore Business Journal, when you post photos of you and your friends wearing Under Armour products to social media, UA is going to know about it.

Under Armour is among 400-plus clients of a  tech startup called  Curalate, which helps companies use visual analytics to “identify trends, track visual conversations and engage consumers” through Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and most recently Tumblr, a blogging platform.

Until recently, it was difficult to track what was being posted to the social media platform Tumblr. Every day, 130 million photos — a good portion promoting particular brands — are shared on Tumblr. But that means little to a business unless it has access to visual analytics.

Once Curalate helps a company identify who is sharing its brand, how it’s being shared and when it’s being shared, that company can use the information to “improve” marketing plans.

Curalate’s insight will give brands greater opportunity to wedge their marketing into consumers’ lives. I’m not sure consumers want that level of intrusion. It may just backfire on brands who are dealing with a untrustful audience in the first place.

Thanks to alert reader JM in NYC for the tip on the UA article.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Juetta West permalink
    04/23/2014 8:19 am

    Intrusion! First Government now Under Armour!!! Mr. Rusch, thanks for this article and heads up.

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