Five barriers holding brands back from truth-based marketing

Sue Unerman

Can you handle the truth? Moreover, can your client's brand handle it?

In the current age, where a brand's image is not the exclusive result of marketers' carefully crafted brand architecture but also the product of conversations and experiences among millions of consumers, I am convinced that the way for a brand to win is by … telling the truth.

To those marketers who continue to resist this argument, a survey by MediaCom's Real World Insight team should provide a jolt. It revealed that whilst 68% of the UK public said it was important that companies told the truth in their advertising, only 34% of respondents actually trusted advertisers to do so.

Authenticity is not a new brand attribute. But communicating authenticity has often been only one goal for an advertising strategy. A more common option has been to see truth as something to be ignored or interpreted "creatively". In this context, the role of advertising agencies was often to spin the truth or distract from it.