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Research Shows ASA's Biggest Ever Ad Campaign Boosted Public Trust of Advertising

Advertising Association

4 min read Partner content

Advertising Standards Authority campaign increased trust in the regulator and positively impacted public trust in UK advertising

May 25, 2023, London, UK: The results of the biggest-ever awareness campaign for our industry’s regulator were revealed at a webinar, hosted by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Advertising Association (AA) today (May 25). The findings show that the campaign not only drove trust in the ASA but that those who saw or heard the ASA’s ads were over 80% more likely to trust the ad industry, and over 50% more likely to trust most ads than those who didn’t.

Rebuilding public trust in UK advertising is a critical part of the advertising industry’s agenda, led by the AA’s Trust Working Group, which is chaired by the IPA and ISBA Director Generals, Paul Bainsfair and Phil Smith. This ad campaign has become a key part of the AA’s Trust Action Plan, as research from UK advertising’s thinktank, Credos, has shown that when people are aware advertising is regulated, they are more likely to trust and have favourable views towards the industry generally.

The multi-channel campaign was developed by the ASA in partnership with the AA’s Trust Working Group, with creative from The Leith Agency and media planning by EssenceMediacom. Businesses including Tesco, Marmite, IRN-BRU, Lloyds, and Churchill featured in the campaign, which ran on TV, print, online, cinema and OOH channels.

Alessandra Bellini, Chief Customer Officer, Tesco and AA President, said: “We are delighted that our ‘Every Little Helps’ strapline is featured alongside other great brands in the ASA’s advertising campaign. It’s great to see such strong results, with increased public trust and confidence that advertising is well-regulated. 

“Our customers’ trust in the Tesco brand and communications is very important to us and that is why we wanted to support this campaign, in partnership with the ASA, to reinforce the credibility of the Brand and Advertising Industry. I urge other advertisers with well-known brand communication ideas, to consider taking part in the future campaign”.

The UK-wide campaign was backed with advertising inventory from media owners including ITV, News UK, Sky, Mail Metro Media, The Guardian, Daily Telegraph, Evening Standard, Channel 4, Bauer, K107 and Reach plc. In digital media, it featured on YouTube, Yahoo, Snapchat and Meta’s channels. Out-of-home, the campaign was backed with inventory from

Clear Channel, Global, JCDecaux and Ocean Outdoor, and saw support from Digital Cinema Media and Pearl & Dean in cinemas.

As well as 80% of those who saw or heard the ASA’s ads being more likely to trust the whole ad industry, the findings also revealed that when asked about trust in ads by media channel, there were higher levels of trust across all media. For example, trust in online ads jumped from 16% to 32% while trust in TV rose from 36% to 51%.

Guy Parker, Chief Executive of the ASA, said: “We’re delighted with the impact of our now UK-wide ad campaign. We’re hugely grateful for the support from The Leith Agency and EssenceMediacom, the generous donations from media owners and, of course, the help of the brands who have let us borrow their famous and much-loved slogans.

“Trust in the ASA is significantly higher following the campaign, driven by those who saw or heard our ads. And promoting trust in the ASA boosts trust in both the ad industry and ads.

“That’s why we plan to continue the campaign, partnering with other brands along the way.”

Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive, Advertising Association, said: “These fantastic results show what a difference can be made by communicating creatively and consistently to the public about the ASA’s role in regulating advertising across all channels. Huge thanks to all the brands and media owners who have given their support, as well as our agencies Leith and EssenceMediacom for making this happen.

“The public is our most important customer, and we are committed to taking long-term action to rebuild the public’s trust in advertising. The huge success of this campaign demonstrates how vital it is that we continue to increase awareness of how ASA regulation critically underpins trust in our advertising ecosystem. Today we’re encouraging everyone in our industry to consider what they can do to support the ASA and the next iteration of this campaign in 2023.”

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