NEWS7 April 2017

Mistrust of US politicians now affecting brands

News North America Public Sector Trends

US – Research from McCann Truth Central has revealed that 70% of Americans believe politicians are less truthful today than 20 years ago, and 42% feel the same way about brands and companies. 

The findings were revealed at the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ ( 4A's) Transformation conference, held in the US this week. President and CEO of the 4A's, Nancy Hill, claimed that this finding was an indicator of how important it is for advertisers to "get out and speak to consumers; data is not enough on its own".

The survey, The Truth About America, also looked into the divide between conservatives and liberals with regard to views on ‘nationhood’ and ‘cultural identity’ in relation to values, institutions, brands, foreign countries, American symbols and news sources.

For example, when asked what the most trusted US institution was, NASA emerged as the common answer, but while conservatives favoured the US Army, liberals opted for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Respondents were also asked: ‘if a brand was going to be in charge of the US, which would get the vote?’ Amazon was the common answer, but while conservatives chose Walmart, liberals chose Google as their preferred option. 

"America’s increasingly pervasive polarisation is creating a new kind of challenge for brand marketers," said Steve Zaroff, chief strategy officer of McCann North America. "They have to decide how much to align with values favoured or opposed by one constituency or another.

"But what we found in our Truth Central study is that there are also areas of common ground with regard to positively viewed values and institutions."