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A Study of Trust Online




Nielsen’s recent survey on trust reiterated what we all know – people trust each other more than they trust advertising. Word of mouth advertising is most trusted way to find out about products, especially across much of Asia Pacific. The survey of 26,486 internet users covered 47 markets around the world. Respondents were polled on the trust they have in thirteen different types of advertising – from conventional newspaper and television ads to branded web sites and consumer-generated content.

The internet has shrunk the world but people still rely on people they know and are influenced by their local culture. Trust of different advertising mediums from newspapers to television, magazines and radio varies across nationalities. Who trusts advertising most? Filipinos and Brazilians (67%) were found to be the most trusting of all forms of advertising. Who has the lowest levels of trust? Danes (28%), Italians (32%), Lithuanians (34%) and Germans (35%).

This is the part that most marketers will celebrate: half of all consumers trust consumer-generated media and branded web sites. Search engine and banner advertising, along with text ads on mobile phones, faired worst. North Americans and Asians most trust consumer opinions posted online.

Opinions posted on blogs (or social media) are fairly trusted. In North America 66% say they trust user generated media. The global average is 61%. The countries to to the list with very high trust in blogs and simliar media are: South Korea (81%) and Taiwan (76%). Finns trust bloggers least at just 35 percent.

Another part of the study shows that ad revenue online is starting to catch up with traditional media but still commands more trust. Newspapers in particular, since ads in newspapers rank second worldwide among all media categories. Television, magazines and radio each ranked above 50 percent.

  • http://www.97thfloor.com/blog Matt Siltala

    I think everything that has to do with the search industry is related to trust. You have to have a trusted site to get any love from the G, you have to have built up trust to be recommended to anyone if you are a consultant. If you have that trust you are thriving and doing well. If you are in business and not thriving, then you better start taking a look at your “trust” issues. Great article Janet!

  • http://karenzara.wordpress.com Karen Zara

    “Who trusts advertising most? Filipinos and Brazilians (67%) were found to be the most trusting of all forms of advertising.”

    I had already expressed my skepticism about it by leaving a comment on the article Netizens Trust Each Other for Product Recommendations. Since this piece of (mis)information has been repeated here, I’ll have to repeat my view on it as well. I’m from Brazil, and I can tell you in all honesty that Brazilians are *far* from trusting advertising in the way suggested by this study. Most of my compatriots actually make fun of ads in general.

    It would be great to read a comment by a Filipino too.

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  • http://www.peopletrusted.com Lief Larson

    Peopletrusted.com is experimenting with the concept of social trust circles for various websites, product, services, and companies.

  • http://symbiancorner.blogspot.com William

    That’s why some companies pay to bloggers for posts.