Seven in 10 consumers agree that advertising contributes to economic growth, while eight in 10 agree that advertising helps create jobs, according to a new survey of 25,420 consumers in 50 countries conducted by The Nielsen Company for the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) in March-April 2009.
Additionally, 68% feel that, as a critical driver of competition between companies, advertising leads to better products and lower prices. Consumers' views on the economic benefits of advertising are broadly consistent across the Americas, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.
The survey also shows a clear majority of consumers across all markets understands the importance of advertising and sponsorship as a critical source of funding for exhibitions, cultural and sporting events (81%) and the media (67%).
The survey also revealed some interesting discrepancies between the attitudes of consumers across regions about advertising as a source of information.
Said Jonathan Carson, President of Online, International for The Nielsen Company: "European consumers appear to be more skeptical, with only half agreeing that advertising helps them make better choices. Consumers in the rest of the world are much more enthusiastic: four out of five Latin Americans, three quarters of consumers in Asia-Pacific and seven in 10 in North America agree."
When asked whether advertising is entertaining, 79% in Latin America, 76% in Asia-Pacific and 59% in North America agreed. In contrast, almost half of European consumers disagreed.
WFA has partnered with The Nielsen Company in order to gauge consumer attitudes to advertising as part of a broader campaign to champion advertising at a time when policy makers worldwide are considering introducing new restrictions.
Said Stephan Loerke, WFA Managing Director: "Advertising is a powerful economic stimulus, and consumers are clearly aware of this. But, we still have more work to do so that governments, too, understand the important role it plays and take this into account when formulating policy."
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