February 27, 2024

Transparency: The Foundation for Building Trust in AI

Advertisers can unlock boundless opportunities with artificial intelligence (AI) by fostering trust with consumers.

Cara Pantano

Director of Agency Partnership Research

At Yahoo, we are thrilled to leverage the power of AI to create better experiences for our advertising clients. Tapping into more than twenty years of experience in AI, we've already observed the impact of Yahoo Blueprint on campaign performance and day-to-day operational efficiencies. Some advertisers have experienced a 12% increase in time savings¹.

However, given the rapidly evolving landscape of AI, it's crucial to not only understand AI's potential on business outcomes but also its impact on consumer experiences. We aim to better understand the sentiment and usage surrounding AI so that we could be better stewards of this groundbreaking technology.

This is why we've partnered with Publicis Media to produce the study, 'Trust Through Transparency: The Future of AI and Advertising,' where we explore consumer and advertiser awareness, acceptance, and trust of AI within the advertising industry. This research has revealed a discernible gap in both knowledge and trust of AI between advertisers and consumers, specifically in the context of advertising.

Read on to learn how the insights gleaned from this study can inform strategies to help bridge the divide and instill trust with consumers.


Yahoo and Publicis Media commissioned Ebco Trends to conduct a robust, multi-method study, incorporating qualitative B2B interviews and two online quantitative surveys among advertising professionals and gen pop consumers. 


Qualitative B2B Interviews

  • 21 interviews with AI experts, senior leaders, and practitioners in advertising and marketing

B2B survey

  • 351 US advertising professionals conducted between Oct. 20th - Nov 1st, 2023

Consumer survey 

  • 1,202 US gen pop consumers between the ages of 18-68
  • Including an AI-generated imagery ad exposure test
  • Conducted between Oct. 27th - Nov 13th, 2023

A Gap in Trust

AI has become ubiquitous for both advertisers and consumers, but sparks a tale of two sentiments. 

Positive Sentiment Toward AI: Advertisers 77%, Consumers 38%

Advertisers Optimistic about AI

86% of advertisers have already used an AI-enabled tool in their role. Advertisers recognize a high return on AI, with agreement on its benefits spanning three key areas: greater efficiency, high-order tasks, and financial results.

1. Greater Efficiency (87% AI Reduces the time spent on manual tasks) 2. High-Order Tasks (83% AI allows more time for the creative and strategic aspects of their role. 3. Financial results (81% AI can increase sales for the organization)

8 in 10  advertisers agree that AI will...

  • Elevate ad experiences by delivering at the right place and time
  • Increase ROI through real-time campaign optimization and insights
  • Allow for pivoting strategies and campaigns in response to real-time market shifts

Advertisers also believe AI personalization in creative will improve emotional connections with audiences. AI’s accuracy will further shorten the period between ad exposure and purchase.

Consumers are at a crossroads

49% are curious about AI. 46% are concerned about AI

Consumers are finding utility in AI, with their top use cases being:

  • 44%: To ask questions and get answers (like I would for a search engine)
  • 35%: To write (an email, essay, story, etc.)
  • 33%: To generate ideas / brainstorm

With younger generations leading the AI revolution. When analyzing the usage of at least one AI tool across different generations, we found the following results:

Gen Z: 84%, Millennials 68%. Gen X 54%, Baby Boomers 40%

Building Trust Through Transparency 

As consumers navigate the world of AI, brands will want to maintain consumer trust. The insights from The Future of AI and Advertising Study highlight that transparency is the cornerstone for achieving this goal. To gauge consumer acceptance of AI-generated imagery, consumers evaluated different types of advertisements, with and without AI disclosures.

Ad with AI disclosure, and ad without AI disclosure
Ads with disclosures generated more positive sentiments. +47% Ad Appeal, +73% Ad Trustworthy, +96% Likely to trust company

This is true across industries, especially in influencing trust among brands categories with historical sensitivities. Results show a lift in“Likelihood to Trust Company” across all surveyed industries when comparing ads with a disclosure and ads without. 

  • Finance: +148% 
  • Healthcare: +132% 
  • Tech: +97% 
  • Food: +78% 
  • Travel +58% 
  • Retail: +52% 

Partner with an AI veteran to foster consumer trust 

With the release of Yahoo Blueprint, our AI engine designed to maximize the impact of every impression, we are making buying in the DSP easier, faster, and more effective. Fueled by over 335 million logged-in Yahoo users globally¹, Yahoo Blueprint aims to enhance performance and maintain transparency, ensuring that advertisers always remain in control.

About Publicis Media

Publicis Media harnesses the power of modern media through global agency brands Publicis Collective, Publicis Health Media, Spark Foundry, Starcom and Zenith, as well as global accelerator PMX and integrated platform-based technologies including CJ, CitrusAd, Epsilon and Profitero. A key business solution of Publicis Groupe ([Euronext Paris FR0000130577, CAC 40]), Publicis Media’s digital-first, data-driven global solutions deliver client value and drive growth in a platform-powered world. It is present in over 100 countries with over 23,000 employees worldwide.

¹Yahoo Internal data, 2024


About Cara Pantano

Cara is the Director of Agency Partnership Research at Yahoo where she unearths market trends and unique insights to guide strategic planning for advertisers. At home, she loves to create whether it be experimenting with recipes, decorating, or attempting to garden.

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