Which issues do Brits and Americans think are acceptable in a brand’s communication?
March 1st, 2023, Bhavika Bansal

Which issues do Brits and Americans think are acceptable in a brand’s communication?

Consumer reactions towards brand involvement in socio-political issues, along with the growing proportion of eco-conscious consumers, has impacted how people around the world feel about brands across sectors. 

Data from YouGov Profiles reveals that a majority of adults in GB (51%) and the US (54%) think it is either ‘very’ or ‘somewhat’ important for a brand to have a clear/transparent point of view on wider social issues. But which issues do they really think are acceptable in a brand’s marketing materials or other communications?

More than half of our respondents in GB (55%) say that it is acceptable for brands to communicate their point of view on environmental issues followed by more than two-fifths who say the same about animal cruelty (49%) and human rights (45%).

A third of adults in GB are accepting of local issues (30%) and LGBT+ rights (29%) in brand messaging while a quarter of respondents find it acceptable for brands to express their viewpoints on gender issues (24%) and international issues (23%).

A closer look at our respondents across the pond reveals some interesting differences.

Human rights (51%) top the list of issues American adults consider acceptable in a brand’s marketing materials and other communications, while environmental issues (47%) come in second. 

Though an almost equal number of respondents in the US and GB find it acceptable for brands to align with a specific charity – 33% and 34% respectively, Americans are significantly more accepting of brand messaging about education (41%) than their British counterparts (31%).

Even though they appear at the bottom of the list, a substantial chunk of adults in the US indicate that they will also accept immigration (24%) and international issues (24%) in brand communication.

While brands have become increasingly willing to take a stand on various social issues in recent times, is this enough? With eight out of ten of consumers indicating that it is important for brands to show they care (GB, 81%; US, 80%) and have consistency in what they do and say (GB, 88%; US, 90%), it is evident, that for their messaging to be truly effective and credible, brands must also walk the talk.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data for GB and the US is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.