TORONTO, Nov. 11, 2014 /CNW/ - Canadians understand advertising as an economic driver that both pays for program and editorial content and helps them in their consumer decision-making. Canadians are also media-smart and healthy skeptics who view their world through a sharp lens. They apply this same scrutiny to advertising. These are some of the findings of the latest consumer research conducted for Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) released today in its 2014 Consumer Perspectives on Advertising Report.
To help shed light on how Canadians perceive the advertising they see, hear and read every day, ASC commissioned The Gandalf Group to research Canadians' perceptions of advertising through an online survey of 1,275 Canadians.
Key Findings about Canadian Attitudes towards Advertising
- The majority of Canadians say they get value from advertising (86%); have a favourable impression of advertising (67%); and find advertising helpful in consumer decision-making (55%).
- Recollection of recent exposure to an advertisement that a consumer found "unacceptable" translates to a much less favourable view of advertising overall. The top reasons cited when a consumer found an ad "unacceptable" were misleading or unrealistic representations, followed by sexist portrayals.
- 65% of respondents said they have stopped purchasing a product or service in response to an advertisement they deemed "unacceptable" ‒ a steady increase since 2011.
- Consumers report significantly less comfort with the level of truth and accuracy in online advertising than in advertising in traditional media.
- 83% of Canadians believe it is "very important" that there be rules and regulations that advertisers must follow, and 82% are aware that rules and regulations for advertising exist.
- Francophones – perhaps because they are exposed to more Canadian-made advertising than their Anglophone counterparts – are slightly more likely to say they feel favourably about the advertising they read, see and hear. Francophones expressed more tempered opinions regarding advertising. Overall, they were less likely than Anglophones to express discomfort with the levels of truth and accuracy in advertisements.
"Our research confirms that advertising plays an important role in our society, "said Linda Nagel, President and CEO of Advertising Standards Canada. "Not only do Canadians understand it pays for content, but they also tell us that advertising provides value to them."
In this digital age, Canadian consumers accept that online advertising helps pay for content, but they have some concerns. "Consumers report significantly less comfort with the level of truth and accuracy in online advertising versus advertising in traditional media," said David Herle, Principal Partner, of The Gandalf Group. "Notably, close to half of respondents said they are more likely to trust a digital ad if it resembles one they have seen on television or in print." Herle continued, "Standards for advertising are extremely important to Canadians, and over 80% are aware that there are rules and regulations that advertisers must follow. But most do not believe the same standards for advertising apply online and offline. There is a real opportunity for the industry to demonstrate to the public that it is committed to advertising standards for all Canadian advertising across all media."
Advertising Standards Canada
Founded in 1957, ASC is the national independent advertising industry self-regulatory body committed to creating and maintaining public confidence in advertising. ASC members – leading advertisers, advertising agencies, media organizations, 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 communications strategies.
The ASC Survey: 2014 Consumer Perspectives on Advertising can be downloaded at: adstandards.com/research.
SOURCE: Advertising Standards Canada
For further information: Janet Feasby, Vice President, Standards, Advertising Standards Canada, Tel: (416) 961-6311 (ext. 243), Email: [email protected]