Very Few Americans Trust Advertising Practitioners’ Honesty

December 27, 2016

This article is included in these additional categories:

Advertising Trends | Agency Business | Automotive | Creative & Formats | Financial Services | Government & Politics | Staffing

When it comes to rating the honest and ethical standards of people in various professions, American adults rate medical professionals highly. But advertising practitioners? That’s a different story. In fact, just 11% of adults rate advertising professionals highly for their honesty and ethics, according to Gallup’s latest research on this topic.

By contrast, almost 4 times more respondents to this year’s survey said they would rate advertising practitioners’ honesty and ethical standards as low or very low (40%).

These figures simply aren’t changing, either. In both 2015 and 2014, 10% rated advertising professionals highly, while in 2013 the figure was a little higher – at 14%. That was the joint highest rating recorded going back as far as 2001.

To put these numbers in context, the only professions that American adults have a dimmer view of – with regards to ethics and honesty – are insurance salespeople, car salespeople, and members of Congress.

The public’s lack of trust isn’t only limited to advertising professionals – it’s for the entire sector, too. Earlier this year, Gallup found that adults are as likely to hold a negative (35%) as positive (35%) view of the advertising & PR industry. The resulting net rating of 0 was the 6th-worst of 25 industries measured.

Lack of trust could logically dampen the effectiveness of marketing and advertising messaging, but recent and ongoing probes into agency practices seem unlikely to result in a positive direction for the public’s view of the industry…

About the Data: The Gallup data is based on telephone interviews conducted Dec. 7-11, 2016, with a random sample of 1,028 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.


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