Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Nearly One in Three Americans Finds Political Advertising ‘Totally Unbelievable’

Survey results indicate low believability in advertisements relating to politics, financial services, and energy companies.

CHARLOTTE, NC June 8, 2010 – In spite of the PR beatings financial services companies, energy companies, and automobile manufacturers have taken in recent months, political advertising is perceived as far less trustworthy than advertising from these or other sources, according to the results of a recent survey conducted by Charlotte-based Accelerant Research. Thirty percent of respondents indicated that political advertisements are ‘totally unbelievable,’ compared to 16% for energy/oil company ads, 14% for credit cards, 11% for investment companies, and 5% for automobile manufacturers.

Interestingly, auto manufacturers’ advertising messages are viewed with less skepticism than other troubled sectors. “Despite the recent domestic auto company bailouts and Toyota’s ongoing quality struggles, Americans still place a relatively strong amount of faith in the communications of these brands,” explained Dr. Paul Rubenstein, President of Accelerant Research.

Other key findings of this research included:
  • As household income increases, so does trust in political advertising. 34% of respondents with annual household income under $30,000 indicate that political advertisements are ‘totally unbelievable,’ a proportion which declines across income levels to 25% among those earning $150,000 or more per year.
  • Younger Americans find political advertising more trustworthy. Only 16% of 18-24 year olds agree that political ads are ‘totally unbelievable,’ compared to 37% of those over 65.
  • The most believable advertisers included in this survey were public service announcements/non-profit organizations (16% receiving a score of 9 or 10 on the same 10-point believability scale), restaurants (15%), soft drinks (15%), apparel/shoes (15%), and electronics (14%).
Accelerant Research conducted this survey online among a demographically representative sample of 1,830 Americans, age 18 and older. The survey was conducted in June, 2010 and has a margin of error of approximately 2.3 percentage points.

About Accelerant Research:
Accelerant Research is a full-service marketing research and consulting firm headquartered in Charlotte, NC, which specializes in customer loyalty, product development, customer satisfaction measurement, modeling, tracking, online qualitative research, omnibus research, and brand analytics.

Media Contact:
Paul Rubenstein, Ph.D.
Accelerant Research