Poll: Public Respects Marketers, Ad Men Less Than Politicians

In somewhat surprising and discouraging news, an international study conducted by Adobe and Edelman Berland found that the public values the work of marketers less than the work of bankers and politicians. Sigh.

The worst part about the study (and its handy infographic PDF)? A quarter of its participants were themselves marketing professionals—and they were twice as likely as members of the general public to name their own profession as “least valuable”! Why did Edelman choose to arrange the sample in this way? They must have had a hunch that marketers don’t think too highly of themselves.

Other revealing/contradictory findings:

  • Despite the fact that 53% of participants call marketing “a bunch of BS”, well over 90% also say it’s “strategic to business” and “paramount to driving sales”. So the public hates it but agrees that it is both necessary and effective? Those are some conflicting emotions right there.
  • The public’s favorite place to view ads is “in their favorite magazines”–and their least favorite place seems to be “on their favorite TV shows”. Way to screw with the dominant business model, guys.
  • A majority of participants call online ads “annoying”, and a paltry 3% like to see paid spots on social media. Oh and, yes, Facebook “likes” almost never drive them to buy stuff.

See, but here’s the thing that really irks us most about this poll…

While “actor” and “dancer” were the least-respected professions (why all the hate for dancers, people?), the public predictably ranked “teachers” and “scientists” as numbers one and two by a considerable margin. We have to call shenanigans.

For one, this fact alone lets us know that the study’s participants weren’t all Americans. Why? Our nation talks a whole lot about how much we love education and science, but based on the way we disrespect our teachers and the way huge portions of our population dismiss the founding principles of modern science, we’d say that’s just “a bunch of BS” we tell pollsters in order to make ourselves feel better.

Tell us, PR pros: Why do so many people think so little of marketers and the role they play in the world of business (aka the world in which we all live)? And why do marketing professionals view their own field with such disdain?

@PatrickCoffee patrick.coffee@adweek.com Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.
Publish date: October 24, 2012 https://stage.adweek.com/digital/edelman-marketers-respect-politicians/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT