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8 out of 10 people trust advertising messages across media: ASCI-ISA Report

82 per cent of audiences trusted ads from the education sector but ASCI finds the major share of misleading ads from this very sector.

“Eight out of 10 people trusted advertising messages across media,” says the findings of the ‘Trust in Advertising’ study commissioned by the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) and the Indian Society of Advertisers (ISA), and conducted by Nielsen.

The study was conducted with people across age groups in 20 centres in India, including metros, smaller towns and rural areas. Here are the major findings:

  • TV (94%) was the most common medium for consumption of advertising, followed by digital (82%), print (77%) and radio (29%).

  • Viewership of TV ads is driven by non-metro markets.

  • Interestingly, viewership of ads on digital is the same in rural (82%) as it is in metros (83%).

As per Prasun Basu, Global Head, Strategic Alliances and New Verticals Nielsen, this demonstrates the growing importance and centrality of this medium in the hinterland.

ASCI spotted early that the growing consumption of digital content and advertising pointed to a permanent change in consumer behaviour and marketing. Accordingly, it set up robust monitoring mechanisms for digital platforms alongside its monitoring of print and TV advertising. It now scans more than 3,000 digital platforms for misleading messages.

Advertising seen on traditional media continues to enjoy high trust amongst consumers. Advertising in newspapers (86%) emerged as the most trusted, closely followed by that on TV (83%) and Radio (83%). Text/SMS ads were the least trusted at 52%.

The study also revealed that consumers put greater trust in advertisements consumed on TV, print, radio, social media, outdoor and search engines as compared to what they did in a similar survey conducted by Nielsen in 2015, but there is a fall in the percentage of consumers trusting text messages over this period (58% vs. 52%).

Audiences displayed a very high level of trust for advertisements of educational institutions at 82%. Ironically, ASCI finds that a significant portion of misleading ads come from the education sector and, therefore, has a high focus on education sector advertising.

Manisha Kapoor, Secretary-General, ASCI said, “ASCI’s job of monitoring the education sector is even more crucial, given these findings. In India, the poorest of people prioritize education spends over other necessities. Most educational institutions promise job guarantees or make false claims of being the No 1 or guaranteeing 100% placement without any objective data or evidence. We are doing our best to make sure that such false advertising is removed from the market."

According to Sunil Kataria, Chairman of the ISA, “Brands are built on the back of long term communication with consumers and audiences. It is in the advertisers’ own self-interest to make sure that all communication is honest and truthful, so consumers can trust advertising messages, and thereby, brands. This study helps advertisers, agencies, media owners and planners understand what works well and introspect on what needs improvement”

You can read the entire report here.

ASCI ISA TRA study.pdfDownload