Panellists including Newswork’s executive chair Tracy De Groose, The Ozone Project’s CEO Damon Reeve, The Sunday Times journalist Rebecca Myers and Ben Rankin, the editorial director of the Daily Mirror and Daily Star Online discuss trust in advertising, why it matters and how to fix it through collaboration, at a breakfast panel at Goodstuff.
De Groose drew attention to the ripple effect the nation is facing around trust: “It’s a domino effect, one part of our nation has a break in trust, and it’s had a knock-on effect. Now who’s the least trusted? Politicians, journalists, news, the NHS? It comes from a sense of fear, an amazing manifestation of that is the referendum – we’re all obsessed with trust.’’
Meyers from The Sunday Times added: “we’re a brand with heritage and that’s a huge amount of responsibility, people come to us to confirm things, seeking our trusted news. People align themselves with their newspaper in a very specific way.” Rankin held similar views, adding that “the heart of what we do is good solid honest reporting.”
Giving his perspective, Reeve said that “for programmatic advertising, I don’t think trust ever existed, people didn’t really care. No one asked the question, why programmatic worked, people just kept putting money in without asking any questions. People are only now realising something we did realise”.
“The single biggest area that’s undermining trust in advertising is that people have forgotten the value exchange. We’re bombarding people with twice as many ads today than we did 10 years ago” commented De Groose.
“Breaking trust now is so much easier nowadays” said Ben Rankin, “if you’re trusted then people will come back – a Love Island reader read three times as much as a regular reader on our sites”.
Highlighting the close relationship readers have with their news brand, De Groose pointed out that “you need to be careful if you ask plainly, do you trust news brands? 40% say they do if you say do you trust your news brand? It goes up to 70%! The news brand you read defines who you are more than anyone else. The news brand relationship is incredibly close and trusted.
“Ozone is so important because it allows the news industry to invest in its own future, a better and healthier future.”
Tuck supported this remark by saying that “it’s fascinating to see how all the stakeholders are happy to work together, the humility is great, raising your hand and accepting that we’re part of the problem”!
Ozone CEO Damon concluded that “anyone who creates content, we are interested, and we want to work with you, your audience is engaged and loyal, that’s a clear definition – we need a quality environment”!
Wrapping up the panel, De Groose reminded everyone of the power of news brands, “around 5 million people watched Love Island, 45 million read news brands a week – news readership is at record levels, the level of engagement is high – don’t look at circulation, there’s a shift to a different platform and our industry is growing”!