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76% of Consumers Believe Advertising Claims are Exaggerated

Sites include . Published on January 11th, 2013. Written by Anthony West.

Advertising whether it is online or offline has long since lost its believability among consumers, but the stat of things is rarely quantified. Thanks to research and analytics company, Lab42 however, we can get a glimpse of just how consumers look at advertising.

The researcher surveyed 500 consumers who gave their opinion on a broad range of subjects including ad believability, the state of cleaning products advertising and weight loss photos. Unsurprisingly the findings were a mix bag of disbelief but none the less, the findings peel back the curtain on what is really going on inside the heads of consumers.

Advertising claims

If you watch TV at all or peruse a few websites online you’ll no doubt see a few wild claims. Most of these claims you can dismiss right off as pure nonsense but it turns out that the majority of consumers see advertising through this rather murky glasses of disbelief. 76% of respondents in the Lab42 study said they found all claims in advertising to be grossly exaggerated and only a paltry 3% believe that ads are “very accurate.” 38% of respondents said they would like to see the advertising industry clean up its act and present more accurate information.

Despite the overwhelming skepticism among respondents however, only 17% had the desire to see legislation passed in the United States to reign in false and misleading advertising.

Women the most lied to

Women do more shopping online and offline than men so it comes as no surprise that advertising targeting them has had some profound changes over the years. Lab42 found that women in particular are skeptical of weight loss ads showing very trimmed models and 96% of respondents felt that these ads were photoshopped. Cleaning products ads didn’t pass the Photoshop test either and 87% of respondents said they felt the before and after shots in these ads were heavily ‘touched.’ Photoshop was seen as a massive culprit behind the sparkling shampoo ads too and 80% of respondents said they didn’t believe the claims made in these ads.

Advertising impact on purchasing

The billions that are spent each year on advertising are designed to do one thing and that is to stimulate the buying impulse. Despite this heavy investment however, most consumers remain largely apathetic towards advertising. Only 8% of respondents said they enjoyed ads, while 5% said they pay no attention whatsoever to advertising.

Brand advertising in particular seems to rub consumers up the wrong way and only 31% of respondents said they would buy as a result of exposure to such advertising. 21% of respondents flat out refused to buy based on brand advertising, however, there were some brands that seem to resonate more with consumers.

Respondents were asked to highlight their favorite brands and Target, Progressive, Pepsi, Coco Cola and Old Spice were top of their list. Funny ads seemed to do more for brands and 71% of respondents said a funny ad made them remember a product. Ads that were educational also resonated with consumers and 12% of respondents said these ads made were memorable.

Whilst the study didn’t dig deep into the changing dynamics of ad creation it is clear that advertisers will have to rethink much of what they do. With such a high level of skepticism among consumers, it is a fool’s game to follow the advertising crowd.

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