Consumer Trust in Advertising on the Increase


Marketers can connect with potential clients through owned, earned and paid media. Each of these media formats makes an impact on consumers in a unique way. Nielsen’s research on consumer trust in advertising shows an thumbsup1improving trend and also links trust to a willingness to make purchases.

Over the past several years, trust in owned advertising – think branded websites – has risen steadily.  69% of global consumers say they find the information posted on company websites to be credible. Traditional advertising is also considered trustworthy by the following percentages of consumers:

  • TV 62%
  • Magazines 60%
  • Newspaper 61%

The trust in traditional advertising translates into action with consumers doing more research or making purchases as a result of newspaper ads (65%), TV ads (68%), and magazine ads (62%).

Researchers note that owned digital media formats have a better reputation with consumers. Almost half (48%) trust search engine results ads, online video and social media ads. About 56% trust email. The mobile ad world is still establishing itself with consumers. Only 37% believe the mobile text ads they see, though that number is improving and 42% trust online banners.

As has been the case for many years, there is no substitute for earned media. Consumers rely on the opinions of their friends and family members. 84% of shoppers believe what their friends tell them about products and services.  The same percentage will take action based on this word-​of-​mouth information while 70% of shoppers believe word-​of-​mouth from strangers – such as opinions posted online. These numbers continue to increase, showing the power of earned media.

To learn more about some of these audiences, such as product review responders, check out the AudienceSCAN report available on the Research Store at ad​-ology​.com.


Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.