Word-Of-Mouth Recommendations Still Most Trusted Form Of Advertising Globally

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I recently came across a report from Nielsen establishing that word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family remain the most trustworthy source of information for people planning to make a purchase.

Meanwhile, online advertising has enjoyed strong improvement in terms of influence, with trust in commercials on TV, radio and movie screens also showing growth.

Nielsen surveyed over 29,000 consumers across 58 markets for the purposes of its research. It found that 84% of respondents trust recommendations from people they know completely or to a certain extent, which is six percentage points more compared to the company’s 2007 survey. Next in the ranking came commercials displayed on branded websites, where trust increased by nine percentage points to 69% this year.

Traditional paid media continues to earn high trust ratings, moving up the list of the most trusted advertising formats. TV ads enjoyed an increase of six percentage points in trust to 62%, emerging as the winner among paid media formats. Ads in newspapers and ads in magazines were cited as influential by 61% and 60% of the sample, respectively, while billboards and other outdoor advertising were identified as the top source of advertising for 57% of respondents to the survey. Ads on radio and ads preceding movies got the vote of a respective 57% and 56% of the panel.

A growing number of respondents also said that they trust advertising in e-mails that they have registered for, with the share of this type of advertising going up seven percentage points to 56%. As to other types of online advertising, 48% said they find ads in search engine results as the most credible. Another 42% pointed to online banner ads, where trust saw a strong growth of 16 percentage points compared to 2007. Ads on social networks are considered credible by 48% of respondents, while text ads on mobile devices were mentioned as influential by 37% of the sample.