Keith Weed tells industry to ‘double down’ and help make advertising noble again

As trust in advertising hits an all time low, Unilever CMO Keith Weed has used his first address as the Advertising Association’s new president to call on brands, media owners and agencies to “sit down, not shout and scream” at one another in a collective bid to make advertising noble again.

Speaking at the Advertising Association’s annual LEAD conference today (30 January), Weed said: “There clearly is a trust problem. Trust has to ultimately come from the people we serve. So if we’re not getting the public’s trust then rolling it back counts for nothing.”

A new report from Credos reveals trust in advertising dropped to a record low of 25% in December, down from 35% in 2017 and 48% in 1992.

While many have blamed the decline on the rapid shift to digital and subsequent gold rush to build data capabilities, Weed says this has been a necessary evolution from brands to “build new muscles” and avoid going out of business. And in contrast to those forecasting the pendulum will swing back to more traditional forms of media as a result, Weed doesn’t believe this will be the case.

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