TV ads fail trust test in South Africa

5 February 2013

JOHANNESBURG: Over 60% of young consumers in South Africa have low levels of trust in television advertising, although a similar number still find commercials enjoyable, a report has revealed.

Pondering Panda, the insights provider, polled 1,924 people in the 15–34 year old demographic via mobile phone, and found 71% positively "enjoyed" watching TV spots, as reported by BizCommunity.

An additional 64% of interviewees agreed these ads were typically "not truthful" about the goods and services they promoted. By contrast, just 32% of respondents held the opposite opinion.

"Most young South Africans are clearly receptive to television advertising," Butch Rice, co-founder of Pondering Panda, said. "However, their lack of trust in the honesty of advertising is a challenge to marketers – but it's not the only one. 

“There are too many campaigns out there that are poorly branded, leading to a serious wastage of advertising budgets ... Viewers often recall the ad, but can't say who it was for. Worse, they also often think it was for a competitor."

Elsewhere, a 56% majority of those surveyed "liked" ads and preferred having them as part of the overall viewing "experience" than not.

A smaller 35% share of contributors outlined a wish to see no TV commercials whatsoever if that was an option.

When discussing the impact of television ads on purchase habits, some 32% of the sample bought things "quite often" after being exposed to relevant spots.

An additional 55% "seldom" did so, while 13% asserted that advertising exerted no influence on their buying decisions.

Data sourced from BizCommunity; additional content by Warc staff