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Online advertising sees big growth in consumer trust, says new Nielsen report

OK, so word of mouth from friends and family still tops the poll as the most trusted form of brand recommendation. But hardworking art directors, copywriters and account managers toiling away in online advertising agencies can justly congratulate one another for their efforts, too. According to Nielsen’s latest “Global Survey of Trust in Advertising” report, consumer trust in online advertising is growing markedly across the planet.

The rise of owned content advertising 

The 2013 study took the views of over 29,000 internet users in 58 countries, seeking attitudes to 19 different forms of earned, owned and paid media. No art director or account manager would be surprised to find that the biggest majority – 84 percent (up 6 percent on last year) – trusted recommendations from family or friends most highly. But 69 percent said they trusted owned content (i.e., the messaging deployed on brand-operated websites), a rise of 9 percent on 2012.

If word of mouth and owned content get the gold and silver medals, at 68 percent, customer reviews get the bronze, which saw a 7 percent rise in approval compared to last year. Veteran art directors and account managers, though, may be wondering what happened to paid media? It didn’t make the top three but it did very well, with 62 percent of respondents trusting TV advertising (a six percent increase on last year) and 60 percent trusting magazine ads (not much change there on a year-by-year comparison, but a rise of 4 percent since 2007 when the survey began). The only form of paid advertising to experience a decline was newspaper messaging, which dropped from 63 percent in 2012 to 61 percent in 2013.

Trust is on the up

More consumers trust online and mobile advertising this year too, while 56 percent of respondents trust e-mail messaging (just 49 percent did so in 2007). Paid-search ads, social network and online video advertising were trusted by 48 percent, while trust in banner advertising grew to 42 percent (an increase of 16 percent since 2007). Mobile display advertising was trusted by 45 percent of those surveyed, while mobile text advertising was trusted by 37 percent.

Conclusion? Trust in advertising is rising globally. Those holding media jobs in Adland should enjoy a little well-deserved self-indulgence.

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