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A Nielsen Report

Global Trust in
Advertising and
Brand Messages
April 2012

CONSUMER TRUST

IN “EARNED” ADVERTISING
GROWS IN IMPORTANCE

Earned media sources remain most credible
Trust in traditional paid advertising messages declines
Confidence in online and mobile advertising increases
Regional variances offer global marketers opportunities
Improved relevance in advertisinghas room to grow

The voice of fellow consumers continues to be strongly heard
when it comes to the most trusted forms of advertising. Ninetytwo percent of consumers around the world say they trust
earned media, such as word-of-mouth or recommendations
from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising—an
increase of 18 percent since 2007, according to a new study
from Nielsen, aleading global provider of information
and insights into what consumers watch and buy. Online
consumer reviews are the second most trusted source of
brand information and messaging, with 70 percent of global
consumers surveyed online indicating they trust messages on
this platform, an increase of 15 percent in four years.
Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Survey of more than
28,000Internet respondents in 56 countries shows that while
nearly half of consumers around the world say they trust
television (47%), magazine (47%) and newspaper ads (46%),
confidence declined by 24 percent, 20 percent and 25 percent,
respectively, between 2009 and 2011.

2

Copyright © 2012 The Nielsen Company.

Still, the majority of advertising dollars are spent on traditional
or paid media,such as television. In 2011, overall global ad spend
saw a seven percent increase over 2010, according to Nielsen’s
most recent Global AdView Pulse. This growth in spend was driven
by a 10 percent increase in television advertising, with countries
including the U.S. and China, attracting more advertising dollars
versus the year prior.
“While brand marketers increasingly seek to deploy moreeffective
advertising strategies, Nielsen’s survey shows that the continued
proliferation of media messages may be impacting how well they
resonate with their intended audiences on various platforms,”
said Randall Beard, global head, Advertiser Solutions at Nielsen.
“Although television advertising will remain a primary way
marketers connect with audiences due to its unmatched reach
comparedto other media, consumers around the world continue to
see recommendations from friends and online consumer opinions
as by far the most credible. As a result, successful brand advertisers
will seek ways to better connect with consumers and leverage their
good-will in the form of consumer feedback and experiences.”

Trust in online, social and mobile ads
Nearly six-in-10 global onlineconsumers (58%) trust messages
found on company websites, and half trust consumer-consented
email messages. On the Web, four-in-10 respondents rely on ads
served alongside search engine results, 36 percent trust online
video advertisements, and one-third believe the messages in online
banner ads—an increase of 27 percent since 2007. Sponsored ads on
social networks, a new format included in the2011 Nielsen survey,
are credible among 36 percent of global respondents.
Display ads (video or banner) on mobile devices such as tablets and
smartphones are trusted by one-third of global respondents, which
is slightly higher than the reported consumer trust level of text ads
on mobile phones (29%). While the reported consumer trust level
in mobile phone advertising is still low, itincreased 61 percent since
2007 and 21 percent since 2009.

“The growth in trust for online search and display ads over the past
four years should give marketers increased confidence in putting
more of their ad dollars into this medium,” said Beard. “Many
companies are already increasing their paid advertising activity
on social networking sites, in part due to the high level of trust
consumers...
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