Steering Your Clients Through the Trust Issue

The widespread pushback on the publication and distribution of misinformation is an increasing factor for advertisers when deciding which media and on which platforms they will allocate their media dollars.

The 2021 Advertiser Perceptions Trust Report surveyed 250 ad buyers at ad agencies and advertisers and found 82% were consciously reviewing the media they buy or plan to buy based on their corporate responsibility and brand values, a 20% increase from 2020.

The trend is clear and ad buyers and advertisers are serious as 59% would choose to minimize engagement with a particular media outlet if it proved distrustful and 40% took this action during 2021. The trust issue has become so important to advertisers that it is now first of all brand safety and other concerns, replacing the misuse of data, which was first in the 2020 report.

The Decreasing Importance of Data and Privacy Issues, 2021 vs. 2020




Data security breaches



Consumer data privacy



Misuse of first-party data



Marketing Dive (Advertiser Perceptions), August 2021

Multiple social and political issues of the last few years have compelled business leaders at the highest levels to reevaluate their policies, values, mission and the potential impact of being perceived as contributing to the dissemination of misinformation.

Despite the recognition of this issue by ad buyers and advertisers and brands and media’s efforts to address it, monitoring and measuring whether a particular media, especially news outlets, is “safe” isn’t easy, according to 77% of the survey respondents. Two-thirds of them have already concluded they can spend ad dollars on legitimate news outlets without the fear of being tainted by misinformation; however, almost as many (64%) would rather not buy online new sites.

The takeaway for you and your station is this trust issue is also becoming relevant at the local level. Since your station is one of your market’s primary local news sources, it’s critical to create a “trust-in-news” statement so you and the entire sales team have the answers when a prospect or client suddenly broaches the topic.