UK Consumers Trust Ads With Stats Over Celeb Endorsements

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UK consumers trust ads containing statistics and supporting evidence more than ads that feature celebrities. This suggests that a brand using a celebrity to endorse its products or services may not be as successful as it hopes. Contentious?

According to a study of 2,000 UK consumers, conducted by research firm Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Energy Saving Trust, ads supported by proof in the form of statistics would influence the buying decisions of nearly 60% of respondents. At the same time, celebrity endorsement was powerful enough to build trust in just 1% of consumers.

Adverts backed up by a third party or verified by a trusted organisation emerged as the second most influential form of advertising, mentioned by 41% of the sample. Next on the list came ads entailing benefits to health, cited by 16%, followed by commercials supported by a presenter, author or journalist that the audience is familiar with, mentioned by 5% of respondents.

Energy Saving Trust CEO Phillip Sellwood commented that advertisers in the UK seem to be facing an increasingly skeptical audience given the low levels of trust in products promoted by celebrities. Nevertheless, there are still numerous tactics local advisers could embrace in order to build trust with their audience, he said.

The survey further revealed that UK consumers are broadly at odds as to what to believe when it comes to ads. Some 46% of respondents said they believe advertising claims “some of the time,” while 38% admitted that they never or rarely trust commercials.