Positive Perception of the Advertising and PR Industry Rises Slightly, But Remains Low

October 9, 2020

Gallup Net Ratings Industries Sectors Oct2020People’s perception of the advertising and public relations industry has seen a slight lift this year. Indeed, after hitting a low point last year, the latest Gallup survey on industry perception shows that the advertising and public relations industry has redeemed itself somewhat in the eyes of US adults.

The survey of more than 1,000 adults (ages 18 years and older) reveals that one-third (33%) of adults have a positive view of the advertising and public relations industry, compared to 34% with a neutral view and 32% with a negative view. The net positive score, which subtracts the percentage with a negative view from those with a positive view is +1. This is up from last year’s -1 point but lower than 2018’s +3 points. The only other industries or sectors that scored lower this year are the Sports industry (-10 points), the Pharmaceutical industry (-15 points) and the Federal Government (-20 points).

It is worth noting that the percentage of respondents who provided a positive rating (33%) did not change over 2019. Positive perception of the advertising and public relations industry remains at its lowest point since 2012 (31%) and is seemingly a long way from matching or exceeding the 41% it had back in 2003.

The perception of advertising practitioners didn’t improve this year either. A Gallup poll examining how US adults rated an array of professions in honesty and ethics found that only 13% rated advertising practitioners’ honesty and ethics very high/high, while 40% rated advertisers very low/low in these qualities.

The industries that fared much better in net positive perception in this latest survey are led by Farming and Agriculture, which had the highest net positive score of +58 points, up from +41 points last year. The Farming and Agricultural industry is followed by the Grocery industry (+51 points) and Restaurant industry (+46 points).

One notable industry that has climbed considerably in positive perception is healthcare. Perhaps influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic, 51% of respondents rated their perception of the healthcare industry as very or somewhat positive, lifting the industry’s net positive score from -10 points last year to +20 points in 2020.

On the other hand, it’s possible that the Travel industry has been negatively impacted by the outbreak. The industry dropped from a respectable net positive score of +39 points in 2019 to +16 points this year.

The Sports industry experienced a more dramatic drop — falling from a +20 points net positive score in 2019 to a -10 points score in 2020.

The full release from Gallup (which includes complete question responses) can be found online here.

About the Data: Gallup describes its methodology in part as follows: “Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted July 30-Aug. 12, 2020, with a random sample of 1,031 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Each industry was rated by approximately 550 respondents, and the margin of sampling error for each is ±5 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.”

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