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Why ethical advertising should be key to your strategy

Three people sitting around a table during a work meeting

Whilst ethical advertising isn't a new concept, it’s now a focus in the advertising world and has rightly been pushed into the spotlight of brand’s campaigns. Ethical advertising prioritises fairness and equity both in messaging and in a consumer’s experience. When brands are creating their future strategies, it can be easy to overlook ethical advertising whilst also balancing KPIs and outcomes, but to build trust with consumers, brands need to ensure that ethical advertising is front and centre.

Partnering with the consumer

As we face instability across the globe—and there’s more uncertainty when it comes to spending—, brands need to make sure they inspire loyalty from their customers. Consumers are looking for brands to act with purpose. In fact, 88% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support. It’s especially true in the face of change and uncertainty, where they’re looking for "comfort options". Marketers have a key role to play here as they can build trust and business value through purpose-driven marketing which help ensure consumer loyalty.

Privacy concerns have exacerbated the need to build loyalty. With the proliferation of new technologies and important questions around the use of consumer data, ethics in online advertising is becoming essential to regain lost trust.

As privacy expectations have increased, consumers are taking over their data. This means data transparency needs to be a high priority for brands. Tech companies that provide ethical and transparent platforms are the solution. By partnering with a transparent end-to-end platform, brands can start addressing their consumers’ needs for authenticity and honesty. As well as protecting user data and making consumers aware of how their data is used, these platforms also ensure high-quality ads are delivered in a premium environment.

High-quality publishers reign supreme

Whilst brands look to create more ethical advertisements, the next step is supporting quality journalism to sustain the industry and promote the right environment. Advertisers know they need to frame their ads alongside premium content to earn consumer trust and ensure spending doesn’t end up on the wrong publications.

By working with publishers and an overall supply chain that provides transparency and offers quality to consumers, advertisers can directly fund reputable content. In turn, by positioning their ads alongside quality content and utilising the trust already gained there, brands can earn consumer trust and loyalty.

Transparency is key

As well as quality journalism, brands need to ensure their intentions feel transparent and honest to their consumers. It’s important that a brand establishes their core values and sticks to them, whether that’s around sustainability, the way they process data, or another area of the business. It needs to feel authentic. For example, if a brand is stating that they care for the environment, their CEO shouldn’t be flying to multiple places via a private jet each week. As a brand, you need to make sure you live and breathe your values, so that you feel genuine to your customers.

Ethical advertising, transparency, and privacy are all intertwined. As consumers become more aware of how their data is utilised and engaged with, ethical advertising is essential in the privacy-first world.

It’s important for brands to remember that trust is gained in drops and lost in buckets. The risk of not paying attention and engaging in ethical advertising is real. If you don’t feel authentic to your customers, they will have no concerns to look for another brand who better aligns with their values.

You have to be true to your brand purpose. By building a relationship with your customers, staying consistent, and prioritising an ethical approach, you will be one step closer to getting long-term value and loyalty from them.

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