Survey: Trust In Online Ads Grows, While Trust in Print and TV Ads Drops

It’s no secret that most of us put more stock in the recommendations we get from friends than traditional forms of advertising. What’s interesting, though, is that while most consumers also increasingly trust online reviews and ads, trust in paid advertising on television, magazines and newspapers has declined pretty rapidly. The latest data from Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Survey shows just how dramatic this decline is: while 92% of consumers say they trust word-of-mouth recommendations, less than half trust paid ads in traditional media outlets. The trust in these ads has declined by more than 20% since 2009.

Trust in online ads, on the other hand, is up, but still lags behind print and TV. Today, 33% of respondents say that they believe the messages they see in online banner ads. That up from 26% from 2007. When it comes to search ads, 40% of online consumers say they trust them and 36% trust the ads they see on social networking sites.

For mobile ads, the numbers are pretty similar: about 33% of respondents trust mobile banner ads and 29% trust mobile phone text ads.

Few people, of course, really love online advertising. Having relevant ads makes the experience somewhat more bearable, though. Here, as expected, search ads get the highest relevance rating from Nielsen’s global panel of respondents (42%), followed by video ads (36%), ads on social networks (36%) and then banner ads (33%). According to Nielsen’s global head for advertiser solutions Randall Beard, this shows that “there is still much potential for marketers looking to reach the right audience through advertiser-driven messages.”

For this survey, Nielsen interviewed 28,000 online consumers in 56 countries throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and North America.