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Smart advertising, smarter Canadians
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Smart advertising, smarter Canadians 

A new survey reports that Canadians view advertising as something that helps them in their decision-making as a consumer. They scrutinize advertising with no pity for complacency.

Advertising Standards Canada (ASC) commissioned The Gandalf Group to conduct its annual 2014 Consumer Perspectives study. A total of 1,275 Canadians were surveyed for the report, which shows how people perceive the ads they see every day.

“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, in a press release.

“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 percent 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.”

The results indicated that 86 per cent of Canadians feel there is no value in the ads they see, while 67 per cent have a good impression of advertising. Furthermore, 55 per cent feel advertising is helpful.

An “unacceptable” ad translates to less favourable view of ads overall, the top reasons being misleading and sexist portrayals. Sixty-five per cent of respondents said they stopped buying products advertised via “unacceptable” ads and this trend has been increasing since 2011.

Online ads are much less trustworthy than traditional media and 83 per cent strongly felt that ad regulation rules should be followed at all times. In addition, 82 per cent are aware that those regulations exist.

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