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Word of mouth most trusted form of advertising, says Nielsen

Nine out of 10 Internet consumers claim recommendations made by friends and family members are the most "trusted" forms...


July 29, 2009 12:03 by

Nine out of 10 Internet consumers claim recommendations made by friends and family members are the most “trusted” forms of advertising worldwide, while seven out of 10 online consumers trust product and service recommendations posted by users online, claims research company Nielsen in a global survey entitled Global Online Consumer Survey.

In the UAE, 95 percent of Internet consumers rely on recommendations made by acquaintances, while 84 percent trust editorial content. Newspaper ads came third with 78 percent, followed by brand websites (72 percent), brand sponsorships (68 percent) and random consumer opinions (66 percent).

The survey included 25,000 Internet consumers from 50 countries.

“The explosion in Consumer Generated Media over the last couple of years – we are now tracking over 100 million 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,” says Jonathan Carson, President of Online, International, for the Nielsen Company.

He adds, “However, we see that all forms of advertiser-led advertising, except ads in newspapers, have also experienced increases in levels of trust and it’s possible that the CGM revolution has forced advertisers to use a more realistic form of messaging that is grounded in the experience of consumers rather than the lofty ideals of the advertisers.”


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