“Stop Lying, Mate” - Aussie Consumers Have Had Enough

A quite brutal poll — and what it means for local brands

Aarron Spinley
8 min readJun 8, 2021


Credit: BBC

So, get this. Three in four Australian consumers reckon that brands outright lie to them in marketing communications. Lie to them.

Kapow! Bam! Whacko! Smack! Boomfa!

But before we turn this into a 1960s re-run of Adam West’s Batman (look it up), let’s just all acknowledge: this is one heck of a zinger to local brands.

That headline statistic from a late 2020 customer loyalty survey commissioned by the agency, Customology, was among many that ultimately found, that the majority of Aussies lack any kind of trust in brand communications.

Ain’t that a slap in the face to all that branded virtue-signaling that’s been filling up your social feeds.

According to the survey, 82% of all consumers would actively consider another brand to the one they currently use. Now, if that isn’t an epic failing of customer engagement by Australian companies, show me what is. But there will be upside lessons for all.

Let’s dig a little deeper.


Taking the Rubbish Out

First, it’s often tempting to dismiss survey-based research, especially when the findings are as challenging as this one. Leading questions can certainly derive target answers. A little skepticism is healthy.

For example, this research reports that:

  • 63 percent want to be rewarded for their referrals

But if you ask people if they like to be rewarded for a referral, what were they supposed to say? It’s only surprising that the number was a low as 63%, though given how we have trained consumers, I expect the rest saw the likely implication that they would be spammed with more emails if they said yes.

So okay, let's park that finding. It’s pretty benign anyway. But the rest? Well, there’s some good meat. Read on.


They’re Lying to You

That’s what this research suggests the majority of Australian consumers think, which to be fair, mirrors trends in other findings from…



Aarron Spinley

Growth & brand theory from a top 10 global thought leader (Thinkers360). SPINLEY.CO