Readers put trust and value in print advertising

September 26, 2012 by  

Irene Fogarty, Research Director, Irish Times, Ireland was one of the speakers of the Media Research Seminar of INMA European Conference 2012. She spoke about the European Reader panel survey done by the INMA Research Committee.

The goals of the survey were:

  • To find what readers think about the newspapers
  • To learn whether readers in Europe trust what they read in newspapers
  • Is advertising more trustworthy and helpful to readers when it appears in the newspapers of choice

The research was divided into 5 sections:

  1. positive aspects of newspapers in general
  2. negative aspects of newspapers in general
  3. perceptions of editorial content
  4. perceptions of advertising content
  5. would the reader recommend the newspaper of choice

31 newspapers from Europe participated in the research. The minimum sample size for each newspaper was 150 readers. Each newspaper results were weighted to their readership. Some newspapers did not match the scale.

In the result, 27 titles across Europe were analysed: 14 quality titles, 5 mid market and 8 mass market titles

The results:

1. People would mostly describe their newspapers as (positive and negative):
positive: informative, interesting, important (authoritative scored very low, as well as respective), and on the other hand: expensive, biased, inaccurate (untrustworthy – 5th place)

2. Trust and value sections:

a. editorial content:

  • 75% of readers in Europe trust the newspapers they read.
  • 56% agreed with the 2nd statement (this newspaper plays important role)
  • 74% agrees it gives something to talk about
  • 78% agree a newspaper gives knowledge
  • 70% agree a newspaper is part of a quality time
  • 50% agree it gives them quality content i can’t access elsewhere

b. advertising content:

  • 31% agreed the advertisement captured their attention
  • 28% agreed it gives important information
  • 18% agreed it helps make purchase decisions
  • 16% agreed the trust in brand builds up
  • 13% agreed they read not only for content but also advertising
  • 14% agreed seeing ad makes them think highly about the advertiser

3. The readers were analysed as the net promoters (on a scale 0-10, how likely they are to recommend something to a friend). They were divided into 3 categories, two of them are positive, last one is negative:

Promoters (9-10 on a scale): loyal enthusiasts, keep buying, recommending to others
Passives (7-8 on a scale): less loyal, still buying
Detractors (1-6 on a scale): spreading negative word of mouth

According to the report:

  • 14 newspapers sat in the positive range
  • 13 newspapers sat in the negative range

The report helped find that positive and negative words show how Europeans see the printed medium. Readers have high engagement level with editorial content. Advertising analysis helped set an important benchmark.


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