Audiences are warier of advertising than ever before; research from the UK’s advertising think tank, Credos, demonstrates that public favourability towards advertising effectively bottomed out in 2017. Only 25% of the British public reported favourable sentiment towards advertising in 2018, the organisation found.
At the same time the ongoing trends around the flow of advertising revenue have continued unabated. The vast majority of ad revenue directly benefits the tech platforms that traditional publishers consider usurpers to the thrones of reach and audience engagement.
Denise West, Chief Commercial Officer for DC Thomson Media, opened the discussion by noting that while advertising has always been an important pillar of media business models, it has been coming under increasing pressures from places outside publishers’ control. She cited research from Credos and the findings of Dame Frances Cairncross as showing that the digital advertising world is far more volatile than it has ever been before.
She noted that a lack of trust has triggered a crisis across the entire industry.
“In fact, in its most recent survey, iProspect found that 88% of the 300 marketers they surveyed found trust to be the absolute priority for 2019.”
– Denise West, Chief Commercial Officer for DC Thomson Media, speaking at WNMC.19
Despite many research findings that traditional media formats are largely more trusted than are their digital counterparts, West said increased public awareness about the issues of ‘fake news’ and public misgivings about digital advertising have had a knock-on effect on public trust in media altogether: “We nonetheless are being tainted by the wider issue.”