Weed: Advertising Will Help Rebuild Confidence Following Pandemic

Advertising has a key role to play in rebuilding confidence following the lockdowns of the pandemic and helping society respond to key issues such as climate change, Advertising Association president Keith Weed has said.

In the foreword to the report ‘Rebuilding Public Trust in UK Advertising‘, Mr Weed highlighted the uncertainty faced by the industry but pointed to the vital role that advertising has to play in helping to tackle critical issues.  

Mr Weed said: “The advertising we produce will help rebuild confidence as society recovers following the lockdowns of the pandemic. The work we make in the coming years will play a crucial role in helping the UK and international markets respond to climate change.

“And the way we recruit, retain and develop talent from all backgrounds will shape just how inclusive and successful that work is. All of this contributes to the public’s view of our industry and ultimately how trustworthy we really are.

“There is uncertainty ahead for this industry with government reviews of online advertising and sectors under scrutiny such as HFSS and gambling. However, the more we tackle this head on and take our responsibilities seriously, the greater contribution to the economy and to society we can make.”

Research published by  the Advertising Association, ISBA and IPA at the industry Trust Summit found that public trust in UK advertising has increased by 25 per cent since 2015.

The research also showed that, while bombardment remains the biggest cause of distrust in the industry, it has decreased since 2018.

Mr Weed added: “Trust is complex and precious. Built up slowly over time, it can disappear much more rapidly; therefore earning trust and keeping it is an ever-constant and ever-changing challenge. As all the evidence shows, trust pays – with better returns on campaigns and better long-term value for the brands they support.

The new Credos research provides us again with brilliant insights on how our most important customer, the public, feels about advertising and the changes that have taken place since that first research back in 2018.

It is fascinating to see where the industry is excelling – particularly in our response to the pandemic and tackling inclusion – but concerning that some advertising techniques are problematic for people. The importance of creativity – creating advertising that people enjoy and find engaging has become even more important as the No. 1 positive driver of trust.

He added: “When this industry is at its best and most responsible, it is trustworthy and makes a valuable contribution to the UK, not just economically but on a societal level too.

“Central to the long-term health of industry is the ASA. Its principles of ‘Legal, Decent, Honest and Truthful’ sit the heart of why consumers should trust advertising. Our self-regulatory body is highly effective in its role, and we need to be proud of that, respect it and support it.”