Body shaming most offensive in advertising
Body shaming in advertising is the issue that elicits the most negative reaction from people, with 57% of UK consumers finding inappropriate messaging about a person’s weight or size to be offensive.
Cultural appropriation is next on the list, with 50% of consumers taking offense to brands using minority groups in an exploitative, disrespectful or stereotypical way.
More than a third (37%) find ads with religious messages or undertones offensive, while 34% find full nudity, sexually suggestive images and gender stereotypes to be distasteful and 30% find swearing offensive. Just over one in 10 (11%) find partial nudity offensive, while 12% take offense to same-sex relationships, and 20% dislike seeing images of addiction.
Overall, just 45% of Brits say they would report an ad if they found it offensive, with a similar number (43%) saying they would not report it.
Looking at the split by age, 40% of Gen Z would report an offensive ad compared to 46% of millennials, 39% of Gen X, 48% of baby boomers and 39% of those born before 1945.
However, 40% of Gen Z say they would not report an offensive ad, versus 43% of millennials, 46% of Gen X, 40% of baby boomers, and 52% of those born pre-1945.
TV ad costs to rise 13% amid soaring media inflation
The average global cost of TV advertising across all audiences is expected to rise by 11% to 13% in 2022, as media inflation takes its toll.
The latest Zenith Advertising Expenditure Forecast finds sustained growth in demand from advertisers is pushing up media inflation, particularly in television, where the supply of audiences is falling steadily as viewers switch to alternatives.
Online video prices are expected to increase by around 7%, despite the supply of audiences rising. Other digital channels where supply is climbing and volumes are flexible will experience modest inflation, with 3% average price rises forecast for social media and other digital display. Out-of-home and radio prices are set to rise by 4% this year, while print prices will remain stable given falling demand.
According to Zenith, brands which choose to buy broad audiences to achieve reach will not be able to avoid having to spend more to attract the same audiences. However, companies which use first-party data to identify their most profitable customers – and combine this insight with third-party data – will be able to mitigate “much of the effect” of media inflation.
In 2022, Zenith predicts 62% of ad budgets will be spent on digital media, up from 59% in 2021. This proportion is expected to reach 65% in 2024.
Global advertising expenditure is forecast to grow 8% in 2022, a minor downgrade from the 9.1% growth rate Zenith published in December 2021. This figure will be supported by the World Cup taking place in the run up to Christmas, the most advertising-intensive period of the year.
With global ad spend forecast to hit $781bn (£623bn) this year, the US will account for 57% of all money added to the ad market in 2022. China follows at 9.1%, then Japan (6.2%) and the UK (5.8%).
Online video is set to overtake social media as the fastest-growing channel, up 15.4% a year on average between 2021 and 2024. This growth will be driven by the rapid development of connected TV, ad-funded video-on-demand, streaming and other video formats.
Social media ad spend, including video ads in social media feeds, is forecast to grow at an average rate of 15.1% a year between 2021 and 2024.
Emotion moves up the agenda for B2B marketers
More than a third (39%) of marketers globally believe B2B brands are increasingly harnessing the power of storytelling, emotion and humour to help strengthen their creative campaigns.
The majority (69%) agree B2B purchasing decisions are just as emotionally driven as B2C, with 81% suggesting their brands are now producing creative campaigns that rival consumer brands.
Indeed, 82% of B2B marketers globally believe creative confidence is growing. However, this drops to 59% among UK B2B marketers who have the lowest confidence of the 13 countries surveyed, according to the study by LinkedIn.
However, despite the UK producing the lowest ranking figure, LinkedIn senior director for head of marketing solutions UK and Ireland, Tunji Akintokun, points out 59% is actually “really quite good”.
“We just are genuinely more cautiously optimistic around building creative B2B campaigns, but we know it’s the next frontier and the sign in the industry is that we’re already pushing the envelope quite a lot more,” he explains.
By comparison, countries ranking highly on the confidence metric include Brazil (95%), Australia (95%) and India (94%). Compared to the UK, Akintokun notes countries like India and Brazil are in the “hyper growth stage”, where the overall industry is “more open to change”.
Majority of consumers wouldn’t switch to a cheaper brand if unaligned on values
More than three-quarters (78%) of consumers would not switch to a cheaper brand if its company values were not aligned with their own.
As the cost of living crisis continues, the data also highlights that 7 million households in the UK – almost a quarter of consumers – plan to buy second-hand or shop on resale sites “more often” in response to rising costs.
And around one in three shoppers are “consciously” looking to switch to cheaper brands or retailers, with one in four planning on researching and using price comparison tools before committing to a purchase.
Gen Z – those born 1997 and 2012 – are the most concerned when it comes to the ethics and sustainability factor of brands, more than other age groups at more than two-thirds, according to the research.
The research also highlights that more than two thirds of consumers plan on spending less on non-essentials and services this year, and more than a quarter (29%) plan to stop purchasing holidays, furniture and electrical goods altogether.
For the “least affluent”, the figure rises to 90% cutting back on non-essential spending, compared with 49% of the “most affluent”.
Source: Retail Economics/Squire Patton Boogs
Two-thirds of Brits worried about buying counterfeit goods
Nearly three-quarters of consumers (73%) say proving a product is genuine is important to them, while 59% say transparency into how and where a product is made is key to their purchasing decision.
Some 45% of people are also concerned about which country a product has come from, with 38% saying the consider the number of miles it has travelled.
The data suggests brand must do more to protect their integrity, with 36% of people citing difficulties in getting key information on claims from brands about the authenticity, origin, ingredients or sustainability of their products.
Two-fifths (40%) of people believe the rise of online shopping is contributing to the sale of counterfeit goods, with 53% concerned they might be buying knock-off items.
Source: Digimarc Corporation/Censuswide