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Traditional 'channels' like television and newspaper are among the most trusted ads by Americans, survey suggests

Traditional advertising

More than four out of five Americans (82%) trust print ads (newspapers and magazines) over other traditional forms of advertising with 80% of those surveyed putting their trust in TV ads, suggests a recent survey by MarketingSherpa.

The survey also reviewed 13 digital channels - and found that search engine ads (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) are the most trusted digital channel ads for 61% of those surveyed.

"This consumer attitude presents a challenge for digital marketers," said Daniel Burstein, senior director of editorial content, MarketingSherpa. "Some of the elements of digital marketing that make the channel so popular — it's trackability, targeting and low cost thanks to greater inventory — are also its Achilles' heel compared to traditional advertising.

"While the New York Times features 'All the News That's Fit to Print,' digital content pretty much just stops at 'All.' There's very high value online content — even most print publications publish online as well — but that real value is drowning in a sea of mediocrity or worse, and as a whole, it damages consumers' trust."

The researchers found that half of the respondents (1,200) were asked to reflect on their experiences with a specific brand with which they are highly satisfied along with companies they were satisfied with in general, and the other half (1,200) were questioned about a brand with which they are not satisfied and companies they are unsatisfied with in general.

The responses of these two groups were then compared and contrasted against each other. The respondents from each age group, the silent generation (71-93); baby boomers (52-70); Generation Xers (34-51); and millennials (18-35); were nearly evenly split between the paired surveys.

"So digital marketers must be careful with their media buying. But they must also ensure their digital advertising has a credible value proposition and follows a customer-first marketing approach that attracts — instead of alienating — consumers," Burnstein said.

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Laurie Fullerton

Laurie Fullerton is a writer based in Boston, MA with a background in business, sports, community, medical and travel writing. She has been a newspaper editor in the Boston-area, a sports writer covering yacht racing and a community reporter. She has been reporting for The Drum since October 2015.

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