ASA invests in public campaign to ‘rebuild public trust in advertising’

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is promoting its role as a guarantor of ‘legal, decent, honest and truthful’ adverts to rebuild the Scottish public‘s trust in advertising.

Developed with the Advertising Association’s (AA) Trust Working Group, the Scottish ad campaign features creative by The Leith Agency and brands such as Audi, Irn-Bru and Marmite.

What does the ASA’s campaign look like?

  • The approach takes famous advertising campaigns and freshly interprets them to remind the public that all ads are fully regulated.
  • Churchill’s ‘OOoh Yes‘, Mastercard’s ‘Priceless‘ and Marmite’s iconic ‘Love it or hate it‘ strapline have all been chosen for the national campaign.
  • Chosen outlets include STV, Channel 4 and Sky; Global and Bauer radio stations; and outdoor, social and online display activity.

Why does it want to ‘rebuild trust’ in advertising?

  • AA chief executive Stephen Woodford said: “We know that strong awareness of the ASA as an effective regulator of advertising content correlates with public trust in advertising.“

  • Woodford continued: “The creative idea harnesses the power of some of Britain’s best-loved campaigns and is a tremendous demonstration of the industry support for our world-class self-regulatory system in the ASA and the creative strengths of the Scottish ad industry.“

  • Pre-campaign research among 1,138 Scottish adults and 1,396 Brits helped gauge awareness of the ASA which found awareness levels at 55% (slightly below the UK figure of 60%).

  • On the other hand, Scots are more clued-in on advertising complaint procedures, with 81% aware of the ASA‘s role - versus 79% for the UK as a whole.

  • The ASA is seeking to address a blind spot in public knowledge with just 33% aware that online ads and social media adverts are included in the regulators remit.

  • Overall it found 51% of adults trust the ASA, with just 6% being distrustful. Scots were a fraction more favourable in their views, with 54% being confident in the regulator.

  • Trust levels are markedly lower however, with trust in the ad industry as a whole and advertising specifically languishing at just 17 and 23%.

  • It was found that awareness of the ASA is linked to trust with 62% of those in the UK who said they were aware of the ASA trusted it, versus just 51% of those who were oblivious.

  • The ASA believes that trust in it is vital to boosting trust in the broader industry as 22% of UK people who trust the ASA also trust the ad industry, versus 17% who do not.

  • Equivalently positive sentiment towards ads is higher among those who trust the ASA, with 30% of UK people who trust the ASA also saying they trust ads.

  • The advertising industry has previously outlined a five-point plan to bolster trust by encouraging members to adhere to a voluntary code of practice and standards.