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Nielsen: Online recommendations most trusted form of advertising in India
Nielsen: Online recommendations most trusted form of advertising in India
By: iMedia News Bureau

Nielsen’s latest Global Trust in Advertising report suggests that the explosion of social networks and consumer-generated media over the last few years continues to have a significant impact on advertising as consumers’ reliance on word-of-mouth and recommendation from friends and family is the most trusted form of advertising in India. Surprisingly, a whopping of 91 per cent of respondents believes in advertising received by a recommendation.

According to the findings of survey, online consumer reviews is the second most trusted form of advertisements by Indian consumers with 77 per cent of the respondents affirming their belief in such testimonials.

More than 28,000 Internet respondents in 56 countries were surveyed. The result shows that while nearly half (47 per cent) of the consumers around the world say that they trust paid television, magazine and newspaper ads. Online consumer reviews are the second most trusted source of brand information and messaging, with 70 percent of global consumers surveyed online indicating they trust messages on this platform, an increase of 15 percent in four years.

The survey also revealed that in India, television ads have seen a decline in trust from 76 per cent in 2009 to 55 per cent in 2011. Similarly, magazine ads saw a fall of 14 percentage points to 59 per cent and newspaper ads, a 17 percentage point decline to 60 per cent.

Display ads (video or banner) on mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones are trusted by one-third of global respondents, which is slightly higher than the reported consumer trust level of text ads on mobile phones (29%). While the reported consumer trust level in mobile phone advertising is still low, it increased 61 percent since 2007 and 21 percent since 2009.

Elaborating about the study Farshad Family, Managing Director, Media, Nielsen India said, "The study reveals that manufacturers and advertisers need to think out-of-the-box to come up with new ways to increase brand visibility online and use the top two categories, word-of-mouth and online consumer reviews, to their advantage. With ads on social networks fast catching up with traditional forms of advertising such as TV, newspapers and magazines, advertisers need to re-orient to capitalise on the growing number of online consumers and the proliferation of e-commerce" 

On the Web, four-in-10 respondents rely on ads served alongside search engine results, 36 percent trust online video advertisements, and one-third believe the messages in online banner ads—an increase of 27 percent since 2007. Sponsored ads on social networks, a new format included in the 2011 Nielsen survey, are credible among 36 percent of global respondents.