Marketing ethics 2023

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Treat data with integrity

Data alone is just numbers – it’s what you do with it that matters. Ensuring that we are treating it with care is our responsibility as marketers.

  • 65%
    65% agree that when buying from a brand, it is important that said brand values their privacy

    Consumers clearly care about their privacy, but where does privacy sit in your own campaign planning? It’s time to move it to the top of your agenda.

  • 57%
    57% see little or no benefit to sharing their data with brands

    At the same time, consumers want to see more value from the data that they do share with brands. When collecting first-party data, how can your brand prioritise value creation?

  • 37%
    37% see no meaningful improvement in their online experience since GDPR implementation in 2018*

    But let’s be real, you don’t need a survey to tell you that your average consent banner is not a good user experience. Consider this your friendly reminder to not overlook branding and UX design in your privacy practices.

    *Base: Familiar with GDPR (4,673)

Be transparent, always

Transparency means so much within the context of digital marketing. For consumers, it’s whether they understand marketing practices and why they see the ads they see. As marketers, how can we be better at building trust?

  • 51%
    51% feel that they have a clear understanding of why they see specific ads online

    Hurray! A victory for transparency…it’s not all bad news, eh?

  • 40%
    40% of those who have never revoked consent for a company to use their data, have not done so because they do not know how*

    Are you surprised? Because we’re not. Make sure your privacy policy states clearly how consumers can revoke consent (hint, an unsubscribe button on emails isn’t enough)

    *Base: Have never revoked consent (2,127)
  • 34%
    34% are highly concerned about the use of algorithms, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) in selecting the type of content and advertising that they see online

    And how many of us marketers struggle to understand blackbox marketing platforms and the algorithms that sit under the hood? It’s no wonder our customers do so as well.

Make marketing a positive experience

How can we ensure the adverts our consumers see are less intrusive, more relevant and representative? Advertising plays a huge role in the online experience, let’s start recognising that.

  • 73%
    73% have taken one or more actions to control the advertising that they see online

    Examples of such defensive actions include rejecting cookies, deleting their browsing history, installing ad blockers or (everyone’s favourite when booking flights) using incognito browsing. It seems clear that users are actively seeking to prioritise their privacy

  • 39%
    39% state that it is important that the brands they follow and purchase from represent different people in their advertising

    These figures remain largely the same irrespective of age grouping. With 28% of 60+ consumers also agreeing with the statement: It is important to me that the companies/brands I follow and purchase from represent different people in their advertising

  • 49%
    49% of those who have revoked consent did so because they found a brand’s advertising practices too intrusive*

    For instance, have you considered ad fatigue as an important metric in your campaign optimisations and thought about adjusting your campaign set up to reduce frequency?

    *Base: Have revoked consent (2,073)

Want all the details?

Download the full Marketing Ethics Consumer Report 2023

Ask the audience

Assuming you had to have an internet funded by advertising, which model would you choose?

  • Poll iconSharing more data & seeing highly personalised & relevant ads
  • Poll iconSome ad personalisation but with limited data sharing
  • Poll iconIrrelevant ads & no data sharing
  • Poll iconI don’t know
  • Sharing more data & seeing highly personalised & relevant ads
  • Some ad personalisation but with limited data sharing
  • Irrelevant ads & no data sharing
  • I don’t know

So, where do we go from here?

In 2022 we asked marketers across Europe for their thoughts on marketing ethics. Read the results to find out more.

Read the report