Moreover, consumers are unsure about what the "sponsored content" label actually means: 48% of US adults surveyed believe it indicates that an advertiser paid for an article to be created and had influence on the content; 20% think it means the site wrote the content but the sponsor's money enabled it to happen; 18% believe the advertiser just paid for their name to appear; and 13% think the label indicates that the sponsor wrote the content.
Below, additional key findings from the report, which was based on data from a survey of 542 Internet users in the United States age 18-65.
- 67% of respondents say they have felt deceived after realizing that an article or video was sponsored by a brand.
- Consumers with higher levels of education are more likely to have felt tricked by sponsored content: 77% of respondents with a graduate degree reported having felt deceived compared with just 46% of respondents with a high school diploma.
Likelihood to Click
- 66% of respondents say they are less likely to click on an article sponsored by a brand compared with regular site editorial content.
- Respondents with college degrees report they are less likely to click on sponsored content than those with only high school diplomas.
- Younger consumers also say they are less likely to click on sponsored content than older respondents.
Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.
LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji