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Online recommendations are most trusted forms of advertising

LONDON - Recommendations by friends and opinions posted by consumers online are the most trusted forms of advertising globally, according to research from Nielsen.

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The Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey revealed that 90% of internet consumers worldwide trust recommendations from people they know, while 70% trust consumer opinions posted online.

Jonathan Carson, president of online, international, at the Nielsen Company, said: "The explosion in consumer generated media over the last couple of years -- we are now tracking over 100m CGM sources -- means consumers' reliance on word of mouth in the decision-making process, either from people they know or online consumers they don't, has increased significantly."

Brand websites are trusted by as many users (70%) as those who trust consumer opinions posted online, while brand sponsorships are trusted by 64% and cinema ads are trusted by 52%.

Although brand websites score highly among users, the survey shows that other forms of digital advertising are trusted less than ads appearing in traditional media such as TV billboards, radio, magazines and newspapers.

Text ads on mobile phones (24%), online banner ads (33%), online video ads (37%) and ads in search engine results (41%) are the forms of advertising least likely to elicit a degree of trust.

Carson said: "Despite the huge increase in the size of the world's internet population and the sheer amount of time being spent online, the industry has yet to attract advertising revenue consummate with the current levels of online media consumption.

"The study shows there is still work to be done to shift advertising revenue from traditional forms of media to the internet.

"The ability to turn this around rests on overhauling the way display advertising is served online so that it becomes a more effective medium for brand advertisers and a more trusted form of advertising in the mind of the consumer."

The survey, conducted by Nielsen Consumer Research, involved 25,420 internet consumers in 50 countries across Europe, Asia Pacific, North & Latin America and the Middle East.

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