Roughly half of consumers lose respect for brands whose ads appear next to offensive content—seemingly without wondering if it happened inadvertently. 9% become vocal brand critics, 11% completely stop buying the brand, and 37% say they consider the objectionable content next time they make a purchase decision.
In case that doesn’t make your stomach clench, about a third of all Americans think if an ad appears next to inappropriate content, the brand endorses it. Really.
On the flip side, almost two-thirds of shoppers view a brand more favorably when they hear about it in highly regarded channels. Friends, family and websites top the list of most trusted sources. Social media comes in #6, behind TV and newspapers.
Consumers are taking action to avoid offensive content and fake news. The majority have increased their time with trustworthy sources and are avoiding less well-known channels.
It may be time to take a deep breath and rethink digital marketing strategy. Currently, 80% of digital advertising is programmatic. If brands do not have powerful white lists in place, there is considerable risk that ads could show up next to offensive content.
Sources: CMO Council 2017, Dow Jones 2017, eMarketer 2017