Consumers want a much greater commitment to social contribution from advertisers

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo

The Advertising Association’s (AA) Advertising Pays 8 report has shown the proportion of total ad spend in the UK that goes on socially conscious advertising.

Around £1 billion worth of media supports advertising that makes a social contribution each year, out of around an expected £25 billion going on ad spend this year. However, the general public are demanding a greater focus on important topics that impact us.

63% of people would like to see greater coverage of mental health; 59% say the environment; 58% say domestic violence; 55% want a focus on homelessness and poverty; 52% a healthy lifestyle; and 51% animal welfare.

Other subjects mentioned that people want more representation of were racial diversity, gender, sexuality and religion, which were picked by less than half.

What's more, one in five people view advertising's effect on society as negative. 40% view it as making a positive social contribution, with a total of 14% seeing ‘promoting a more harmonious society’ as the driver of positive public perception.

It's also true that most people say any effort to make a positive contribution through advertising will significantly affect their purchasing decision. However, while most believe that companies are making more of an effort to positively contribute to society, only 10% believe the efforts to be genuine.