TORONTO, Nov. 16, 2011 /CNW/ - Canadians have higher expectations for
advertising than their neighbours to the south, according to an
in-depth consumer poll conducted for Advertising Standards Canada (ASC)
by The Gandalf Group, and released today. Americans are not only more
tolerant of advertising they perceive as untruthful or inaccurate, but
are more likely to say advertising was helpful to them as consumers as
Most Canadians (79%) believe advertising offers them value, and the
majority agree that most advertising is acceptable. In terms of
acceptability, Canadians place the highest priority on truth and
accuracy. As many as 89% of Canadians are willing to vote with their
wallets if their standards around "acceptability" are not met.
"When it comes to advertising, Canadians are healthy skeptics," said
Linda Nagel, President and CEO of Advertising Standards Canada,
"Canadians place a high value on advertising. But their support is
contingent upon it meeting their expectations about truth and
"Canadians are more likely than Americans to want standards for
advertising," said David Herle of The Gandalf Group. "The research
shows a different cultural mindset in Canada, with a more strongly held
view that advertising shapes society, as well as a greater belief in
the need for standards around such activity."
Among the key differences between the US and Canada:
52% of Canadians agree that advertising shapes society compared with 36% of Americans.
86% of Canadians said it was very important to have standards for advertising compared with 64% of Americans.
72% of Canadians said that advertising is very or somewhat truthful compared with 84% of Americans, while 30% of Canadians said that political advertising is very or somewhat truthful compared with 44% of Americans.
In addition to the sharp distinctions between US and Canadian audiences,
ASC's poll also showed some interesting differences within Canada.
Canadian men and women have a similar assessment of whether advertising
meets standards for truth and accuracy. But men were somewhat less
likely than women to say advertising is offensive, and far less likely
to say it's very important to have standards to ensure advertising is
Quebecers (at 67%) were less likely than other Canadians (at 83%) to say
advertising provides them with value, and slightly less likely to say
advertising helps them with their decision making as consumers. In
terms of political advertising, a majority of Quebecers said political
parties or candidates should never criticize opponents and should focus
on promoting their own candidacies. Outside of Quebec, less than half
shared this view (60% to 43%).
On acceptability and truthfulness, Canadians have the most faith in
traditional media - newspapers more than electronic, and far more than
online ads. This is an area that ASC has identified for further study.
Advertising Standards Canada
Founded in 1957, ASC is the national independent advertising industry
self-regulatory body committed to creating and maintaining community
confidence in advertising. ASC members - leading advertisers,
advertising agencies, media and suppliers to the advertising industry -
are committed to supporting responsible and effective advertising
self-regulation. A not-for-profit organization, ASC administers the Canadian Code of Advertising Standards, the principal instrument of advertising self-regulation in Canada, and
a national mechanism for accepting and responding to consumers'
complaints about advertising.
The Gandalf Group
The Gandalf Group is a provider of public opinion research, strategic
communications advice and issues management. The company combines
expertise in advanced statistical research, law, branding and
The ASC 2011 Survey: Canadian Perspectives on Advertising can be
downloaded at: adstandards.com/research2011.
SOURCE Advertising Standards Canada
For further information:
Hill & Knowlton Canada