Study: Consumers Reject Brands That Advertise on ‘Fake News’ and Objectionable Content Online

Study: Consumers Reject Brands That Advertise on ‘Fake News’ and Objectionable Content Online

New Harris Poll and DoubleVerify research reports that consumers hold advertisers accountable for the credibility and accuracy of the content they advertise on

Harris Poll and DoubleVerify, the leading independent provider of digital media measurement software and analytics, announced the results of a new study showing that the majority of consumers online say it is important that a brand advertises on content that is safe, accurate and trustworthy.

The research indicates that the majority of consumers online:

  • are more likely to engage with brands that advertise beside legitimate content;
  • are less likely to engage with brands that advertise next to false, objectionable or inflammatory content;
  • would stop using a brand or product if they viewed the brand’s advertising next to false, objectionable or inflammatory content;
  • believe that advertisers bear responsibility for ensuring their digital ads run beside trustworthy content.

“Brand safety incidents have an adverse effect on consumer sentiment – with material commercial implications,” said Wayne Gattinella, CEO of DoubleVerify. “Consumers are more likely to engage with brands that advertise on credible content and will stop transacting with brands that don’t. The impact to brand reputation and brand equity has lasting effects.”

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For the study, 2,010 consumers were polled between May 30 and June 3, 2019.  In-depth study findings include:

Two-thirds would stop using a brand if its ad appeared next to fake or offensive content

While online advertising is useful to most consumers today (61%), an overwhelming majority (82%) –say it is important that a brand’s ads appear on content that is safe, accurate and trustworthy.

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of consumers would be likely to stop using the brand/product if they viewed the brand’s digital advertising beside false, objectionable or inflammatory content.

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An overwhelming majority believe that brands bear responsibility for ensuring their digital ads run beside content that is accurate, safe and trustworthy

Nearly 90% of consumers feel that brands bear responsibility for ensuring their ads run beside content that is safe.

The majority (61%) say both the brand and the publication/outlet where the ad is placed are equally responsible for ensuring content is safe.

With privacy top-of-mind, more than 70% share less data with brands today

Almost 80% of consumers are more aware of how companies collect and use their personal data than they were 12 months ago. As a result of that, 71% of consumers share less data with brands today.

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