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When Trust Falls Down

It is our contention that the build-up of factors that led to Brexit and the recent outcome of the General Election are so seismic, that they have had a much wider reverberation across society. It is our belief these factors are impacting on attitudes to everything, including those towards brands and advertising.

We commissioned Ipsos MORI to undertake a UK wide exploration of attitudes towards trust in brands and advertising with a view to identifying:

  1. The severity of the issue facing brands and advertising
  2. What’s driving this growing feeling of distrust
  3. How brands and advertising can regain it

The findings…

1. Brands and advertising face challenging times ahead:

  • 42% of people claim to distrust brands and 69% distrust advertising
  • 43% trust advertising less than they used to and only 8% trust it more than they used to

2. Brands are seen as part of the establishment – and this is a problem

  • The term establishment is used as a catch-all term for excessive power and influence
  • 38% of people give brands a score of 7+ on a scale of 0-10 where 10 is ‘completely establishment’

3. Brands are out of touch and not connecting outside London:

  • People don’t perceive their own lives to be represented in advertising - this is irrespective of demographics, and is exaggerated outside London
  • People outside London are more likely to say brands don’t understand what it’s like for people living in Britain today (32% vs. 24%)
  • People outside London are 21% more likely than people living in London to say brands don’t aim their advertising and marketing at people in their local area

4. Brands are undermining their own credibility:

  • A brand's purpose is viewed as inauthentic until people have seen it put into action with their own eyes - 58% of adults don’t trust a brand until they have seen ‘real world proof’ that they have kept their promises
  • Budget brand behaviour – 40% associate brands with being ‘pushy’ and 57% agree that brands should be more careful where they place their advertising

5. As a consequence, advertising is not considered to be part of popular culture as it has been in the past

  • Half (48%) of adults agree that they don’t talk about adverts as much as they used to

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