New survey: Consumers are more critical of ads near offensive content than heavy news

Consumers are more skeptical of brands that advertise near offensive content than near heavy news, according to a survey by Verizon Media and Insights Now to Marketing Dive.


New survey: Consumers are more critical of ads near offensive content than heavy news

Almost all (90%) of consumers reported that adaptation to news content did not affect their brand perception. Instead, 40 percent say they would have a more negative view of a company that advertises near offensive content. In this case, “offensive content” refers to user-generated posts on social media, rather than news articles published on news sites. Consumers also reported that they encounter offensive content every week on Facebook (59%), Twitter (55%), and Snapchat (48%).

Over 2,000 US consumers participated in the survey, and it is also found that 41 percent of those surveyed receive more news coverage now than in 2017. Half of the respondents choose their news sources based on credibility. Twenty-nine percent said they feel more positive towards brand’s ads on news sites they trust.

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Brand security is a problem in the industry

In times when marketers are continually struggling with brand safety, the Verizon Media survey shows that advertising on trusted news sites can be better than advertising on social media, which is increasingly made up of “offensive” content. About 60 percent of marketers think brand safety is a severe problem in the industry, according to a separate survey by GumGum and Digiday Media. Although it has decreased from 90 percent reported last year, there are still concerns about the type of content that is displayed close to ads in digital media.

Consumers are turning to reliable news sources

Advertisers have long focused on news sites as a potential source of brand safety issues. Forty-two percent of advertisers say they avoid placing ads next to news, because of concerns about unpredictable or “too heavy” content, according to a study on advertiser opinion cited in the Verizon Media survey.

Read moreWhy disloyal customers is the new normal

The results show that consumers have increasingly turned to reliable news sources. If you have avoided or have not thought about using premium news content in your marketing mix, you do not have the opportunity to connect with users who are increasingly informed and who feel more favorable to advertisers on trusted news sites, writes Marinn Jackson, Verizon Media’s Head of premium sales and strategy in a statement.

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