Consumers Often Feel Misled By Ads Appearing As Content
November 5, 2012 – Mobile advertising solution provider MediaBrix commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct a survey focused on consumers’ perceptions about ads that attempt to appear as part of the content in print, TV, digital, social and mobile platforms.
Examples of such content include: sponsored video ads that appear to be content, advertorials, infomercials, sponsored stories on Facebook and promoted tweets on Twitter.
When asked about and shown specific ad types:
Nearly half (45%) of those surveyed who had seen Twitter promoted tweets in the past 12 months found them misleading,
Close to six out of ten (57%) said the same about Facebook sponsored stories,
Sponsored video ads were deemed the biggest culprit with 86% of respondents finding video ads that appear to be content deceptive,
Sixty-one percent of respondents reported TV infomercials seen in the prior year as misleading,
Two-thirds (66%) said the same about print or online advertorials.
Younger consumers (ages 18-34) reported the highest annoyance with these veiled ads. For example, of those who had viewed a sponsored video ad in the past year, and found it misleading, 45% were ages 18-34 compared to 20% of ages 35-44, 11% of those age 45-54 and 24% aged 55+.
"This study validates that people respond best to authenticity in advertising no matter the format. With the recent buzz around 'native' ad formats, I think we need to carefully consider best practices," said Ari Brandt, CEO for MediaBrix. "While anyone pushing the native ad agenda or otherwise would agree that we need to provide user experiences that are not jarring or disruptive, we also need to ensure that we are direct and honest with consumers about when they are being marketed to.”
About: This survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of MediaBrix from October 2-4, 2012 among 2,516 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
Sources: MediaBrix, Survey Reveals That Digital, Social and Mobile Advertising Appearing as Content Can Be Damaging to Brand Trust, Nov. 5, 2012 and MarketingVOX, Consumers Feel "Misled" By Promoted Tweets, FB Sponsored Ads, Sponsored Video, Nov. 5, 2012.