Fake News

Consumers are increasingly cynical of brands and advertising, with ‘big business’ scandals and “arrogance” around brand purpose to blame, according to a study by Trinity Mirror.

The research, done in collaboration with Ipsos Connect, looked at consumers’ trust in advertising. It was done using a three-stage methodology, including a week-long in depth “online community”, three-hour workshops and face-to-face interviews with 1,000 people.

The results are not good news for advertisers; the study concludes consumers trust “almost nothing”. While almost half of consumers (42%) distrust brands, 69% distrust advertising.

Meanwhile, 37% of consumers trust brands less than they used to compared to only 7% who trust brands more than they used to. Some 43% of respondents trust advertising less than they used to, compared to only 8% who trust it more than before.

A big part of the problem, according to Trinity Mirror, is the “arrogance” of brands adopting an ill-fitting purpose, leading to increased cynicism among consumers. The research says 58% of adults don’t trust a brand until they have seen ‘real world proof’ that it has kept its promises.

“There can be huge exaggeration around purpose for some brands, to the point it is incredibly far-fetched,” Zoe Harris, group marketing director at Trinity Mirror, tells Marketing Week.

“It started off with a few brands having a genuine purpose, but it’s…