Few Americans Trust Advertising, But Men Seen More Receptive Than Women

May 27, 2014

This article is included in these additional categories:

Creative & Formats | Men | Women | Youth & Gen X

InsightsinMarketing-Americans-Trust-in-Advertising-May2014Consumers in general aren’t very trusting of advertisers and marketers, according to results from a new survey from Insights in Marketing, but men appear to be present a more receptive audience than women, across a number of counts. While only about one-quarter of the survey’s respondents (aged 18-67) said they trust advertisers and marketers, men were 36% more likely than women to report doing so (30% vs. 22%). Men were also 17% more likely to say they believe what marketers and advertisers say about their products and services (34% vs. 29%).

The findings bring to mind a recent survey from YouGov, in which half of the American adults who reported seeing any advertising at least once a month said they didn’t trust the advertising. However, in that survey, men who had been exposed to advertising appeared slightly less likely than their female counterparts to trust the messages (47% vs. 53%).

Interestingly, the latest survey indicates that Millennial (age range is unclear) men are most trusting of ads:

  • 42% trust advertisers and marketers, compared to 24% of Millennial women;
  • 47% believe what marketers say about their products and services, versus 34% of Millennial women; and
  • 47% said they buy products and services based on advertising, compared to 36% of Millennial women.

As those results show, despite being the most trusting, only a minority of Millennial men trust advertisers and their messages, per the survey.

The Insights in Marketing and YouGov surveys are the latest in a number of pieces of research which indicate the skepticism that Americans have towards the marketing and advertising industry. In a study released late last year, Gallup found that respondents were twice as likely to rate auto mechanics (29%) and bankers (27%) highly for their honesty and ethical standards than they were to give that rating to advertising practitioners (14%). Prior to that, Gallup had found that the advertising and PR industry suffered from lower positive perceptions than most others in the US. And in late 2012, respondents to an Adobe survey rated marketing and advertising as one of the least valuable professions to society.

There is a bright spot, though, according to the Insights in Marketing survey: 57% of respondents agreed that they learn a lot about products/services from advertising. So there’s that…

About the Data: The Insights in Marketing data is based on a survey of 3,450 Americans between the ages of 18 and 67.

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