Matthew Miller
Feb 4, 2021

Trust in ads on different media is all over the map in APAC

EXCLUSIVE RESEARCH: Where should your ad budget go? Campaign teamed up with YouGov to look at levels of trust in ads on 10 forms of media across six markets, and how they compare to the global average.

Trust in ads on different media is all over the map in APAC

Consumers still grant the highest levels of trust to television, print and radio advertising, but a survey of the trustworthiness of ads appearing in 10 different forms of media across six APAC markets is full of interesting outliers and market-by-market variation. 

The results come from an exclusive global survey by Campaign and YouGov. The research surveyed a total of 18,929 respondents, including 5,620 in select markets in APAC. (Earlier, we looked at what APAC consumers think about brands taking stances on politics, social issues, sustainability and ethics: see "Indian consumers think politics and marketing should mix, Chinese do not".)

The complete data dump on how well consumers trust various forms of media in six APAC markets, with the global average presented for comparison, appears below. 

Some observations that jump out:

  • Television, radio and print exhibit the stongest overall levels of trust. Globally, 52% of respondents classify television as either very or somewhat trustworthy, and the overall percentage is similar across APAC.
  • Across every form of media, consumers in India and Indonesia choose "very trustworthy" at a rate that exceeds both the global average and the level in the other APAC markets. This holds true even for media where the other markets are far more skeptical. For example, 20% of Indian respondents said ads on websites are "very trustworthy", with an additional 37% saying they are "trustworthy". By contrast, ads on websites were named untrustworthy by 74% of respondents in China, 67% in Hong Kong, 63% in Australia and 61% globally.
  • Social media gets the strongest dose of wariness overall, with 68% globally finding ads on social media either not very trustworthy or not trustworthy at all. Australia overindexes the global average: 75% there find social-media ads untrustworthy, with 34% choosing the "not at all" designation.
  • Podcasts, often seen as an inherently authentic medium, don't get much love in APAC, with 61% in China, 56% in Hong Kong and 38% in Singapore saying ads in this medium are not very trustworthy. However, the high response levels under "don't know" probably tell the most important story for this medium.
  • China and Hong Kong exhibit outlier levels of mistrust toward posters and billboards, as well as direct mail and ads in cinemas.
  • A wide majority in China (63%) mistrusts ads on search engines.
  • Singapore has an interesting stance toward print media. A majority (55%) considers print ads somewhat trustworthy, but only 10% are willing to check off "very trustworthy".



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