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Research : UK consumers trust branded content more than editorial / Vibrant Media

New research into the value consumers place on digital content shows that more UK consumers trust content from brands (27 per cent) than from publications (23 per cent).

UK consumers’ levels of trust in digital content are significantly below those demonstrated by consumers in the United States where 35 per cent of consumers say they trust content from publications and 33 per cent say they trust content from brands.

The data from native advertising company @VibrantMediaUK also found that nearly one in four UK consumers (24.5 per cent) distrust content from publications compared to just 19 per cent who say they distrust content from brands.

When Vibrant Media’s researchers focused their assessment on media titles and brands with which consumers were familiar, they exposed a greater disparity in levels of distrust between brands and media titles: the number of consumers that distrust content from media titles they know (19 per cent) is more than double the number who distrust content from brands that they know (8 per cent).

Cynicism about content increases with age. Consumers aged 13-34 years old proved to be more trusting of all content producers compared to those aged 35-64. The study also found that nearly half of respondents (47 per cent) feel that it is important they be informed that an advertiser has paid for content.

The research results offer reassurance to publishers considering introducing branded content along with their editorial.

Craig Gooding, Executive Chairman & Founder of Vibrant Media, said, “Stereotypically, people in the UK are more cynical than other places in the world, and the reputation of the British media in recent times has perhaps impacted the level of trust UK consumers have in publishers’ content.

Nonetheless, we were very surprised to see consumers’ level of trust in branded content exceeding that of editorial – albeit marginally. In the US, consumers’ trust in branded content is pretty much on par with their trust in editorial. The findings have reassured us that publishers who offer branded content, or are considering doing so, are not compromising their relationship with consumers. Yet British consumers’ cynicism means it is essential to act with the utmost responsibility when introducing branded content into an editorial environment.”

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