We’ve got a shedload of stats for you to enjoy this week. The roundup includes news on consumer trust, predicted retail spend, AI, and some rather positive updates about Amazon.

The trusty Internet Statistics Compendium is also ready and waiting, should you require any more statistical goodness to round off your week.

Now, let’s not dilly-dally.

Highest H1 on record for UK adspend

Warc’s Expenditure Report has revealed that UK adspend grew 3.7% to £10.8bn during the first six months of 2017, making it the largest H1 total on record.

This news has also resulted in an upgraded forecast of 3.1% growth for 2017, which suggests annual spend in excess of £22bn. 

The report also revealed that 54% of all advertising spend in the first half of the year was generated by digital, with mobile growth of 36.1% being the main contributor to a wider 13% rise in internet spend during the quarter.

89% of viewers see brands that sponsor TV as trustworthy

According to research by Channel 4, consumers typically believe TV sponsorship to be one of the most trustworthy signs within advertising.

In a survey over 80,000 people, nine in 10 television viewers said they consider brands sponsoring programmes to be more trustworthy than those engaged in other forms of advertising. Meanwhile, three-quarters think sponsorship is a more expensive form of advertising, therefore leading 91% to perceive sponsoring brands as more premium.

The survey also found 9% of viewers now expect this as part of the TV experience, while 80% say these kinds of ads act as a recognisable cue to watch.

Nearly half of marketers are sceptical about AI

A new report by Resulticks has revealed that 47% of marketers think artificial intelligence is an overhyped buzzword, while a further 40% are sceptical about the technology.

Interestingly, the reason the majority of marketers believe this is due to AI technology feeling more visionary than practical, with not enough concrete examples to show any different.

The report also revealed that 42% of marketers have no plans to implement artificial intelligence, while some have already abandoned the concept altogether.

80% of Christmas shoppers share gift ideas via ‘dark social’

New research from RadiumOne suggests that eight in 10 consumers share information about Christmas gifts via dark social channels like instant messaging apps and email.

Its latest report states that 30% of consumers shared more content online over the Christmas period than usual, with 72% of this content being shared via dark channels. This is compared to just 22% of content shared on Facebook. 

In this sense, dark social is seen as a crucial signal of purchasing intent. RadiumOne found that out of the 50% of people who shared technology gift ideas and 33.3% who shared fashion gifts via dark social, one half and one third of people respectively went on to make purchases in these categories.

Consumers trust premium publishers more than Facebook and Twitter

A Qualtrics survey has revealed that premium publishers rank far ahead of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter when it comes to trust and engagement.

In a survey of over 500 UK consumers, 79% of respondents cited trust in the BBC, and 55% cited trust in The Times and The Guardian. Meanwhile, only 36% said they trust news content on Facebook and Twitter. 

This level of trust is reflected in engagement. Respondents were 48% more likely to actually read an article on The Guardian than on Facebook, with social media activity more geared towards scrolling through news headlines.  

Six in 10 retailers fear high cost of Brexit

Research from Rotageek suggests that retailers fear the knock-on effects of Brexit, specifically when it comes to pressure on workforces.

65% of retailers say that having the right staff in the right place at the right time is already a struggle. Brexit looks set to increase this challenge, with 58% of British retailers believing it will negatively impact their access to labour. Similarly, 56% of retailers believe Brexit will put extra pressure on their workforces.

In order to combat this, retailers suggest that digital staff scheduling could alleviate some of this pressure – 57% say it could increase staff happiness and 54% say it could make staff feel empowered.

Brits average Christmas spend set to rise 12.5%

Adobe’s Digital Insights report suggests that Brits will spend even more this Christmas than the last.

A survey revealed that consumers will spend an average of £1,963 each during the festive period – an increase of 12.5% on 2016. This also means that Brits will outspend their European counterparts, with respondents in France anticipating a spend of €498, and German consumers expecting €565.

It also appears an increasing number of Brits will be shopping via digital channels. UK consumers expect to spend 53% of their Christmas budget online, while 21% expect to spend more online than last year. Finally, 47% believe the ideal Christmas shopping experience would be entirely online.

68% of digital managers think internal silos are harming CX

New research from Inviqa has revealed that organisations are failing to align business strategy and digital delivery, leading to customer experiences suffering as a result.

The ‘Mind the Digital Gap’ report says 68% of digital managers think internal structures negatively affect their organisation’s ability to deliver effective customer journeys, while 53% believe their organisations are failing to balance day-to-day business operations with investment in digital innovation.

When it comes to the biggest obstacle to achieving a powerful customer experience, most digital managers cited a ‘lack of internal agreement on where to focus efforts and resource’. Similarly, the majority named the ‘time it takes to deliver digital initiatives’ as the biggest obstacle to achieving business goals.

Amazon is most trusted tech brand for US consumers

In a survey of over 1,500 US consumers, Amazon was named as the most-trusted tech brand – more than others including Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft.

What’s more, The Verge found Amazon to be the tech brand most likely to be recommended to friends and family, as well as the brand consumers would miss the most if it were to disappear. In contrast, Twitter was found to be the company that respondents would not recommend and miss the least.

Elsewhere, the survey revealed that consumers trust Facebook less than Google, with trust also being the primary factor for individuals boycotting Facebook entirely.

Amazon’s advertising services grew 58% in Q3

In other Amazon news, its latest quarterly figures have revealed a revenue growth of 34% year on year. The company’s advertising services has contributed significantly to this, with ad revenue growing 58% to reach $1.12bn in Q3.

While this is rather meagre compared to the likes of Facebook’s $9bn in Q2 ad sales, it certainly shows a promising rate of progress.