ASIA PACIFIC: More than half of APAC consumers would think more negatively of a brand that advertised on a platform carrying fake news, research has shown, and a similar proportion would stop buying brands that promoted fake or misleading content.

YouGov collected data from 8,869 participants in its online panel from Asia Pacific (weighted to be representative of the online populations in Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) and reported that 68% of them believed there is a problem with fake news on digital platforms.

Just under half thought there were also issues with fake news in newspapers (49%), on TV (47%) and on radio (41%).

At the same time, however, TV was the most trusted source of news, with three quarters of those polled (75%) placing either a little or a lot of trust in TV. Radio (70%) and newspapers (68%), also registered higher levels of trust than digital (60%).

The survey noted that more than a third (37%) of respondents shared online news content on social media at least once a day. (This was even higher in Thailand (54%), Vietnam (50%), Indonesia (44%) and the Philippines (40%).)

And while most (58%) were prepared to trust to some extent news that friends and family shared this way, just 13% said they placed “a lot” of trust in it.

More than half (56%) claimed to have carried out independent research to check the validity of a news story they had seen online.

YouGov observed that consumers were clearly aware of the problems of fake news but could be unforgiving of brands that became entangled with it.

Thus, 54% said they would think more negatively of a brand that was found to be advertising on a platform that contained fake news; two thirds (66%) said they would trust a brand less.

But if it was the brand itself that had been promoting fake or misleading content, they were ready to take more drastic steps: a majority of consumers would no longer make purchases from this brand (54%), would choose a different brand in future (51%) or tell family and/or friends about it (51%).

Three in ten (29%) would share this information on social media while a quarter (26%) said they would delete the brand’s app from their phone.

Data sourced from YouGov; additional content by WARC staff