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IAS Brands Cannabis Content Adjacency Jun2020Alongside the growth in popularity of cannabis consumption in the US, nearly half (45%) of consumers agree that online content referencing cannabis is a suitable space for ads, per a recent report [download page] from Integral Ad Science (IAS). Though this sentiment does depend on brand and product, consumers appear generally open to ads being adjacent to cannabis-related content.

The study finds that consumers’ attitudes towards this kind of advertising placement vary depending on the type of cannabis product, as well as the brand placing the ad. Across all product types, the largest share of respondents are fine with this kind of advertising, but respondents are more open to it when content is related to CBD wellness products (56%) than when it concerns CBD edibles (49%) or marijuana dispensary products (46%). One-quarter think that suitability depends on the brand.

Ad placement alongside cannabis-related content also doesn’t appear to affect consumers’ responses to advertisements and brands. In terms of ad engagement, most respondents are unaffected by cannabis content adjacency, with 41% reporting that they are neither likely nor unlikely to engage with an ad of this kind. The rest were generally in favor: one-third overall were likely (17%) or very likely (17%) to engage, compared to one-quarter who were unlikely (10%) or very unlikely (15%).

What’s more, the majority (62%) of respondents would not change their sentiment toward a brand that advertises near cannabis-related content online. Though this is the case across geographies (legal states, legal medical states and illegal states), the percentage that would have an unchanged (62%) or more favorable sentiment (20%) was highest among respondents in states where cannabis is legal in all forms.

As for ads for cannabis products, respondents from legal states are, unsurprisingly, slightly more receptive/very receptive (47%) than those from other states, as well as the most open to seeing cannabis ads in the mainstream media (67%). Across all states, fewer than 3 in 10 (27%) object to seeing any cannabis ads online.

Read the full report here.

About the Data: Results are based on a survey of 1,059 US internet users, fielded in April 2020. Respondents represent states where cannabis is legal, legal for medical purposes or illegal.

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