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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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