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Around 99% of online consumers hold social media liable for unsafe ads: IAS

Due to fake news, online consumers are more discerning about the ads on their feeds.

A vast majority or 99% of Singaporean online customers demand accountability from social media platforms, brands, and advertisers for ads appearing next to unsafe content, a report by global technology firm, Integral Ad Science (IAS), showed.

In a statement, IAS said the spread of fake news made online consumers more discerning on ads they view at their feeds, with 43% consumers less trusting of the ads they view on their social feeds, whilst 64% believe that the personal content of social media made them more aware of the inappropriate ads on social platforms.

Moreover, 60% of social media consumers will support brands whose in-feed social ads appear next to content aligned with a brand’s image whilst 54% of consumers are likely to buy goods or services from brands with contextually relevant ads.

However, 29% of online consumers will have a negative view of a brand with an ad that “appears next to a content which does not align with their brand’s image,” whilst 47% are unlikely or very unlikely to buy a product or service advertised on social media feeds that is next to unsafe content.

According to global intelligence firm, Magna, social media ad spending in Singapore rose by 33% last year. It added that advertising will “continue outperforming linear advertising formats and eventually represent 60% of total advertiser budgets by 2026, with social media as the key priority.”

For her part, Laura Quigley, senior vice president in the Asia Pacific at IAS, advised brands to keep their ads contextually relevant for customers.

“While 67% of consumers hold social media platforms responsible for ads appearing near unsafe content, it is equally important that brands take the onus and direct their agency partners to help them align with what’s relevant and avoid unsuitable content. A key aspect of this is working with a trusted media quality partner,” Quigley added.

Nearly nine in 10 or 87% of Singapore consumers spend two hours each day on social media using their mobile devices, with Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and TikTok being the most popular social media platforms, the IAS study also showed. 

It also indicated that 99% of Singapore consumers have at least one social media account whilst close to nine in 10 or 89% of consumers have engaged with an ad on social media in 2021, with 29% having bought a product or service advertised.

The IAS’ study was based on responses of 505 Singapore social media users in January 2022.

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