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How can we reverse the decline in public trust in UK advertising?

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The Advertising Association’s (AA) latest report, launched at the recent ISBA conference, focuses on the organisation’s top priority for 2019: rebuilding trust in advertising.

The paper, titled ‘Arresting the decline of public trust in UK advertising’, contains research stats from Credos about the key drivers behind the fall in public trust of advertising over the last two decades. This has declined from around 50% favourability in the early ‘90s to just 25% in 2018. It identifies six factors that affect public perceptions of advertising, including unnecessary bombardment of unhealthy messages.

Speaking at LEAD ’19, AA President Keith Weed explained the importance of the issues as “trust of bust” for the advertising industry, going on to explain: “Ultimately, advertising does good but with trust in decline, we risk it losing that positive influence. A brand without trust is simply a product and advertising without trust is just noise. The Advertising Association is pioneering a change to rebuild public trust in advertising but success requires collaboration from all industry players. It’s trust or bust and I choose trust.”

The report goes on to highlights five key actions the industry should undertake in order to reverse this decline, as well as setting out criteria able to measure the success of those actions.

Here the ‘must-do’ list:

  1. Reduce advertising ‘bombardment’
  2. Reduce excessive advertising frequency and re-targeting
  3. Ensure that the ASA is “best in class”
  4. Ensure that data privacy matters
  5. Show that advertising can drive social change

For more information about the report, its findings and the actions the AA recommends, visit: https://www.adassoc.org.uk/policy-areas/report-arresting-the-decline-of-public-trust-in-uk-advertising/

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