February 28, 2024

Yahoo & Publicis Media Survey Reveals AI Ad Disclosure Increases Consumer Trust

Survey finds consumers and advertisers are divided over use of AI in advertising

Note: Verizon Media is now known as Yahoo.

New York, NY (February 28, 2024) –  Yahoo, in collaboration with Publicis Media, today released "Trust Through Transparency: The Future of AI and Advertising," a new study exploring consumer and advertiser perspectives, acceptance, usage, and trust of artificial intelligence in the advertising industry. 

Polling over 1,200 U.S. consumers and more than 350 U.S. advertisers, the survey revealed a disparity in AI sentiment between consumers and advertisers. While nearly 8 in 10 (77%) of advertisers view AI positively, only 38% of consumers share this sentiment. The study also found that 53% are not familiar with companies’ use of AI in advertisements, demonstrating that brands have an opportunity to build trust in AI by being transparent with consumers about their use of the technology. 

“While advertisers are already bullish on AI, a significant portion of the population has yet to tap into the benefits of AI,” said Elizabeth Herbst-Brady, Chief Revenue Officer at Yahoo. “Consumers are less concerned about brands and marketers using AI, but rather identifying when AI is used. Transparency will be vital for brands to maintain long-term consumer relationships and generate positive brand equity.”

The study found key themes across consumers and advertisers, and identified trends from transparency to demographic sentiment. 

  • Trust Through Transparency: Advertisers can build trust through transparency when using AI. To gauge consumer acceptance of AI-generated imagery, respondents were presented with different types of creative, some with and some without disclosures that AI was used to create the ad. Overall, AI-generated ads with noticed disclosures significantly boosted brand perceptions and provided a 47% lift in ad appeal, a 73% lift in ad trustworthiness, and a 96% lift in overall trust for the company. This proved true across industries, especially those with historical sensitivities like finance and healthcare. 
  • Authentic or AI: The study found 72% of consumers believe AI makes it difficult to determine what content is truly authentic. Although 61% already assume AI is used in ads, they don’t know how to identify where. 
  • Generational Divide: Younger generations are leading the charge in embracing AI, with 84% of Gen Z respondents reporting they use at least one AI tool today, compared to 68% of Millennials, 54% of Gen X, and 40% of Boomers. Consumers are also starting to find more use cases for AI beyond simple Q&A (44%), with other leading uses being writing (35%) and to brainstorm and generate ideas (33%). Interestingly, 67% also say they want AI trained on “unbiased and fair” data.
  • Advertisers’ Optimism: Advertisers are highly optimistic about AI, with 86% already using it in their roles. They identify its benefits in three key areas: greater efficiency, with 87% noting AI cuts manual task time; higher-order tasks, with 83% saying it frees up time for more creative and strategic work; and financial results, with 81% observing AI's ability to boost sales.
  • Advertiser Use Cases for AI: When asked about AI’s real-time capabilities for advertising, 81% believe AI will enhance ad experiences through optimal timing and placement; 80% foresee an increase in ROI via real-time campaign optimization and insights; 79% expect AI to facilitate strategic pivots in response to market shifts; and 78% see AI's role in creative personalization to strengthen emotional audience connections. 77% also anticipate AI will help shorten the time between ad exposure and a purchase.

“Advertisers recognize the value AI can bring beyond streamlining and optimizing processes,” said Herbst-Brady. “There are growing opportunities for AI usage. Marketers are ready to adopt these future solutions across measurement, brand suitability and safety, and targeting and segmentation.” 

For more information, please visit www.advertising.yahooinc.com

Methodology: "Trust Through Transparency: The Future of AI and Advertising," conducted by Ebco, is a comprehensive study carried out in October-November 2023. It involved qualitative B2B interviews and two online quantitative surveys of over 1,200 U.S. consumers and more than 350 advertisers, focusing on their awareness, acceptance, and trust in AI within the advertising industry.

About Yahoo

Yahoo serves as a trusted guide for hundreds of millions of people globally, helping them achieve their goals online through our portfolio of iconic products. For advertisers, Yahoo Advertising offers omnichannel solutions and powerful data to engage with our brands and deliver results. To learn more about Yahoo, please visit yahooinc.com.

About Publicis Media

Publicis Media harnesses the power of modern media through global agency brands Performics, Publicis Collective, Publicis Health Media, Spark Foundry, Starcom and Zenith, as well as global accelerator PMX and integrated platform-based technologies including CJ, CitrusAd, Epsilon and Profitero. A key business solution of Publicis Groupe ([Euronext Paris FR0000130577, CAC 40]), Publicis Media’s digital-first, data-driven global solutions deliver client value and drive growth in a platform-powered world. It is present in over 100 countries with over 23,000 employees worldwide. 

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