News Media Canada testifies before House of Commons committee on advertising policy

Earlier this week, John Hinds, president and CEO of News Media Canada, testified at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates to address changes to the federal government’s advertising policy.

News Media Canada believes that the government of Canada has a duty to inform ALL Canadians about its programs, services, policies and decisions.  Advertising is one of the ways that the government ensures that individuals, families, and businesses have the information they need to exercise their rights and responsibilities and to make informed decisions about their health, safety and security.

According to the 2017 Reuters Institute Digital News Report, 8 out of 10 Canadians still consider traditional media and their brands among the most trustworthy sources. While this number is relatively unchanged from 2016, it’s worth noting that, since then, 50% more adults consider traditional media to be their main source of news.

In short, Canadians trust advertising content in newspapers, both print and digital more than any other media. Ads on social media (Facebook) and in search engines (Google) are among the least trusted. This difference is most pronounced in the digital sphere, where only 18% of Canadians trust an ad on a mobile device, compared to almost 40% on a newspaper website.

We believe that the government of Canada’s advertising policy should reflect where Canadians look to find information about their community – and that newspapers, both print and digital, play a vital role in informing Canadians. We believe that the government’s advertising spend should be smart and provide information to Canadians in trusted formats where they want to see ads.