News media websites foster brand trust and safety

new research study from UK-based Reach Solutions demonstrates that trusted news sites play an important role in providing a safe environment where the public can consume content on difficult topics, this being especially applicable during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study revealed that despite the types of information being consumed, these negative feelings did not transfer to the brands that advertise on news sites.

The study also discusses the possibilities surrounding restrictions and the blocking of ‘unsafe’ content on news sites. Sarah Frost, insight manager at Reach Solutions commented that “While online regulation is a rightful concern, advertising is equally effective when shown next to content that would normally be blocked as long as it is in a trusted news environment.”

“The evidence is irrefutable. Quality environments matter just as much, if not more so when it comes to brand safety. Content intensity does not have a negative impact on brand perception on trusted news sites,” added Andrew Tenzer, director of market insights and brand strategy at Reach Solutions.

Research from other sources confirm this. Findings from DVJ Insights show that trusted platforms actually increase brand trust. In trusted news sources, there is a higher level of brand recall, as well as more positive associations for the advertising brand. Ads profit from the halo effect, where the trust associated with news media brands are transferred to the advertising brand, making them also seem more trustworthy.

New data from Canada-based Totum Research also emphasizes the trust associated with news brands, compared to other forms of media. 52% of Canadians trust ads in printed newspapers, which exceeds other traditional media forms such as radio (44%), TV (44%), and magazines (38%). On the digital side, news media websites lead once again with a trust level of 39%, compared to radio websites (36%), TV websites (35%), magazine websites (32%), and social media (21%).