Every year Ofcom surveys a sample of the UK population exploring attitudes towards the media and how we consume news.
It is always interesting, and this year more so than ever. In short, there is much for the PR industry to cheer.
We do not like online ads - not even those that are supposedly targeted. The older we become the more we dislike them.
TV still remains the top source for news; we like its impartiality, that it is up-to-date, and 'just the facts'. Only a third of those surveyed, however, seek 'expert opinions', and even less pursue an alternative viewpoint. We know what we like and where to get it.
YouTube, interestingly, is increasingly important as a source for both news and for self-education.
More widely on social media, we tend to look for content that reflects our own views, rather than to challenge our beliefs. It remains an echo chamber.
At its heart, the survey suggests that the media consuming public trust content more than advertising. And that has to be good news for the PR industry.
It may surprise few to learn that 40% of Brits dislike all forms of online advertising, regardless of whether they are targeted or not. While brands talk of a so-called paradigm shift away from adverts and towards content, the UK public has become increasingly mobilised in its opposition to ads, at least according to data from Ofcom's extensive Adult’s Media Use and Attitudes Report’. The report broadly covered issues facing internet use and media consumption in 2017. The main takeaways for advertisers was that that 40% of Brits dislike ads, a quarter are unaware they receive a personalised ad experience and a tenth of experience web users listed advertising as their main online concern.