Geraldine Allinson: Brands Must Re-evaluate Ad Spend       

KM Media Group chairman Geraldine Allinson has called for brands to move spend back into highly trusted local media in the wake of further revelations about social media.  

In a piece for Mediatel this week, Geraldine pointed to recent YouGov research commissioned by Local Media Works which shows that local press in print and digital is the most trusted source for local news and information, more than three times more trusted than social media platforms.

Geraldine, a News Media Association board member, said: “Despite being nearly three months into 2018, we have already seen some fascinating developments in the media sector, which continues to evolve at a breakneck pace.

“Unilever’s Keith Weed continued the sustained call by major advertisers for the tech giants to clean up their act on brand safety and transparency which defined 2017. And the Edelman Trust Barometer showed us just how wide the gulf in trust between social networks and traditional media now is.

“Local media, local newspapers in print and digital, continues to command public confidence, while trust in social networks remains very low.

“In media circles, another important question about social media is; ‘what are the consequences for brands of appearing in an environment where less than a quarter of people trust the content?’

“In the long term, the answer is that we don’t know yet because social media is still a young medium. But I think we can make a well-informed guess about where a world completely dominated by social media might lead.

“And it certainly isn’t a prosperous utopia where brands connect seamlessly with their audiences in a highly trusted environment.

Geraldine continued: “New research from YouGov commissioned by Local Media Works illustrates the stark difference in public opinion between local newspapers and social networks.

“The survey found that local press in print and digital (74 per cent) is the most trusted source for local news and information, more than three times more trusted than social media platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn (22 per cent).

“As a sector, we know trust is important so we invest heavily in it, from our investment in journalism right through to our support for JICREG; the transparent audience currency for planning and buying ad campaigns in local media.

“At the KM Group, trust is a guiding principle for all our work and, regardless of their particular role, everyone within the business works to uphold it.

“Local media is a tried, tested and highly trusted solution which contributes positively to the communities it serves. And, what’s more, through the growth in online audiences, we’re now achieving unprecedented scale and greater penetration than social media.

“According to the YouGov research, local media now reaches 42 million GB adults. That’s 83 per cent of the population compared to the 76 per cent of internet users who have a social media account.

“In addition, social media’s trust ratings are low, users are spending less time on the most dominant social platform, and disturbing evidence is beginning to emerge about its detrimental effects on mental health and social cohesion.

“In 2018, I hope advertisers will take on board these trends by acting decisively in the best interests of their brands, and moving spend back into highly trusted local media.

“The results from YouGov coupled with the recent study ‘Re-evaluating Media’ from Ebiquity make a compelling argument that brand owners could be getting better value for their marketing spend.”