The 2021 Advertiser Confidence Trust Report shows how advertisers’ media spending decisions are changing to meet the demands of consumer safety and corporate social responsibility, with growing support for quality media measured by the right people. The report is based on 250 interviews with advertisers (66% agency, 34% marketer), showing that both agencies and brands are working to address these issues.
“Social responsibility and business ethics are receiving special attention from the board of directors,” said Sarah Bolton, executive vice president of business intelligence for Advertiser Perceptions, in a statement. “Many business leaders are rethinking their companies’ values and how they are defended. They are increasingly willing to accept performance at all costs.”
While brand security is the biggest trust issue that can lead to an advertising partner’s demotion or termination, data and privacy issues are less important: 36% of respondents are concerned about data security, compared to 53 %; Consumer data privacy is a factor of 27%, 40% and misuse of primary data is cited by 30%, compared to 31%. The fact that these concerns have lost ground, even as the privacy landscape faces a series of platform policies and regulatory changes, highlights the importance of brand protection when considering advertising partners. However, more than three-quarters of advertisers say that the use of personal information found by consumers threatens the brand’s reputation.
While four in five advertisers believe brands need more visibility and control over who should benefit from ad placement, 77% say it’s hard to decipher who’s making money. Two-thirds also believe advertising on legal news is safe for the brand, while 64% say they avoid advertising outside news sites to avoid branding issues. These inconsistencies suggest that brands and agencies are still finding the best way to balance customer and consumer needs.
“While advertisers have relied primarily on branded security technology to rule out problematic content, many are also prioritizing quality media under scrutiny,” Bolton said in the statement. “It’s important to note that it includes small-scale media that provide local news and information to diverse communities, leaving advertisers behind in their blind pursuit of precise targets on a large scale.”