1 in 8 Americans Trusts Advertising “A Great Deal”

August 23, 2022

Few Americans hold a great deal of trust in advertising, but advertising still exceeds news media and social media in trust, according to a survey from Brand Keys, conducted for MediaPost.

The survey asked 6,850 US adults in July which categories they trust a great deal. Interestingly, despite declining confidence in large technology companies, the Technology category narrowly topped the list, with 4 in 10 respondents trusting it a great deal. Hot on its heels in the trust sweepstakes is the Entertainment category, which 39% of respondents have a great deal of trust in.

Rounding out the top 5 are Telecom (37%), Luxury Goods (36%) and Pharma (35%). It’s somewhat surprising to see Pharma within the top 5, even just ahead of Healthcare (34%), although pharmaceutical companies’ reputations have improved (likely as a result of rapid COVID vaccine development). It’s also true that recent research has found the pharmaceutical industry to be one of the most trusted worldwide.

Meanwhile, among the 21 categories tested, Advertising came in 18th, with 13% of respondents placing a great deal of trust in it. This brings to mind a recent survey from Gallup, in which just 11% of US adults said they would rate the honesty and ethical standards of advertising practitioners as “very high” or “high.”

The only 3 categories that Advertising outpaced in trust were Government (11%), News Media (10%) and Social Media (8%). That social media fares so badly isn’t unexpected, given the poor reputations for social media platforms. In fact, a recent study found that consumers would be 50% more likely to believe negative news about social media companies than positive news (51% and 34%, respectively).

Finally, among news media, Radio (14%) topped Newspapers (11%) and TV (6%) in trust.

For more, check out Brand Keys’ release here.


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