ASA campaign boosts trust in advertising

Results from the campaign revealed by Advertising Standards Authority and the Advertising Association showed increased trust in the regulator

Georgie Moreton

Deputy Editor, BITE Creativebrief


The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has revealed the results of its biggest-ever ad campaign to drive trust in the industry.

The results underlined the impact of the campaign, showing 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 advertising. 

The results were revealed at a webinar today (May 25) hosted by the ASA and the Advertising Association (AA). The campaign is the latest practical step by the industry at a time when public trust is an ongoing issue. The campaign’s positive impact results represent a significant step forward in improving the industry’s reputation with consumers.

Rebuilding public trust in the UK is a key part of the AA’s agenda and pushed forward by the AA’s Trust Working Group chaired by the IPA and ISBA Director Generals, Paul Bainsfair and Phil Smith.

The ASA campaign has been a key part of the AA’s Trust Action Plan and building public trust. The wo featured key advertising icon brands such as Tesco, Marmite, IRN-BRU, Lloyds and Churchill and played upon existing well-known slogans and branding from the various brands. By riffing on tropes that consumers are familiar with such as Martmite’s ‘love it or hate it’ in the form of copy on one execution that read ‘Ads. We keep them in check. Whether you love them or hate them.’, the campaign is able to connect with consumers showing industry knowledge while poking slight fun. 

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 and 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.

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.

“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.” explained Alessandra Bellini, Chief Customer Officer, Tesco and AA President. “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.

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%.

“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.” added Stephen Woodford, Chief Executive, Advertising Association.

He continued: “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.”

ASA Marmite ad.jpg

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