The Most Trusted Forms of Advertising Globally

The latest twice-yearly Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey of over 25,000 Internet consumers from 50 countries tells us that the most trusted forms of advertising globally are from recommendations by personal acquaintances and opinions posted by consumers online. Reports indicate that 90 % of internet users, which means 9 out of every 10 Internet user worldwide trusts recommendations from people they know. 70 % of Internet users, which means 7 out of every 10 trust consumer opinions posted online.

  • Advertisers will be happy to note that brand websites – the most trusted form of advertiser-led advertising – are trusted by 70 % of internet users.
  • However, other forms of digital advertising are trusted less than ads appearing in traditional media such as TV billboards, radio, magazines and newspapers.
  • The least trusted are text ads on mobile phones (24 %), online banner ads (33 %), online video ads (37 %) and ads in search engine results (41 %).

Says Jonathan Carson, President of Online, International, for the Nielsen Company:

“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.”

Degree of Trust


Forms of advertising ranked by changes in levels of trust from April 2007 to April 2009


So, which form of advertising do you trust most? Share your comments on your degree of trust.