Trust drives purchase intent for jaded Australians

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Trust in social media has fallen again in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and concerns about data privacy, according to Australian research.

The second AdTrust study by Galaxy Research also shows a sharp rise in trust in newspapers, news websites, radio and television.

More than 4200 Australians were surveyed over the past 12 months in a format now replicated in Indonesia. Singapore and South Korea. It measures consumers' trust in content and advertising in the media they consume across ten media channels, and found a direct correlation between the two.

Media tested included newspapers (national, metro, regional and community), television, radio, magazines, cinema, outdoor, news websites, non-news websites, social and search. Results are represented as net figures - the percentage of those that trust a medium less the percentage of those that mistrust it.

Consumer trust in the content on social media channels has fallen to -20 and trust in ads there has dropped to -28 in just under 12 months since the inaugural study was undertaken. The majority of Australians (58 per cent) trust Facebook less than they did six months ago and nearly two thirds (63 per cent) said they do not trust advertising on Facebook.

Conversely, trust in the content of printed newspapers has risen 13 points to +48 and trust in ads rose ten points to +38, again making newspapers the most trusted media for both content and ads. News websites were the most trusted digital channel for content and ads.

The study also found that trust drives purchase intent, with 58 per cent agreeing that the more they trust an ad, the more likely they are to buy a product or service.

"Consumers are now well aware that their personal data is being commercialised and in some instances, their privacy traded for profit and as a result, have honed their media choices,"said NewsMediaWorks chief executive Peter Miller.

"The further erosion of trust consumers have in social media demonstrates they are tuned into the real news, nearly all of which has been revealed by quality newspapers and news websites."

With trust in content and trust in ads going hand in hand, he noted that brands seeking to rebuild lost trust - among them National Australia Bank, KFC, "and ironically, Facebook" - run ads in newspapers. "Brands are indeed judged by the company they keep and we are seeing a flight to quality, with consumers relying more on established news brands they trust and proactively dismissing messages - either content or ads - they see in media they distrust."

Trust in advertising also changes with age, with respondents under the age of 35 having higher trust in all media channels than older users, especially those aged over 55. Younger users, despite being heavier users of digital media, ranked ads in newspapers as the most trustworthy of all media, with the study recording a pronounced drop in their trust of ads in social media and non-news websites.

For a full copy of the report see:

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