Online reviews, personal recommendations most trusted form of “advertising”

Nielsen has a table out distilling the results of Global Trust in Advertising survey.   Worldwide, 50%+ of us trust the following kinds of brand recommendations:

Personal recommendations from someone you know (90%), consumer opinions online (70%), editorial content (58%), branded websites (58%) and emails you’ve signed up for (50%).

All other forms of advertising have trust ratings of less than 50%, including TV ads (47%), TV product placement (40%), social media ads (36%) and sms mobile advertising (29%)

A few observations:

Straight forward PR via editorial endorsements in newspapers certainly matter, but it’s interesting to see that information posted on a brand’s own website is just as believable for consumers.   Of course, a newspaper or magazine still carries the extra weight of third party endorsement

Seven out of ten of us trust consumer opinions posted online.   That’s opinions very often from strangers and note the wording – opinions not reviews

Trust in standard above the line advertising is now below 50%.  In the past two years, trust in TV advertising has dropped by 24% and trust in newspaper ads by 25%

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