Do Web Ads Lack Credibility?

A new global study of consumers found that the most popular forms of Internet advertising score at the bottom when it comes to consumer trust. Nielsen, the parent company of Adweek, surveyed consumers in 47 markets about their perceptions of different forms of advertising, both traditional and digital. It found that the older forms of ad messages—appearing in newspapers, magazines and on TV—far outscored the most popular forms of Web ads, search links and banner placements. >>Full Story

Thoughts// Despite a 17% increase in online spending over the first half of this year, this study serves as a grounding revelation that marketing and brand building is a long term process and not a short term problem that can be solved by buying a ton of ads – be it offline or online. That said, marketers have to realize that trust is earned and the fact that the first 15 years of the web has been/(is still!) awash with dancing cowboys, phishing schemes and other deceptive advertising. Other results from the study:

  • 63% of survey trusted newspaper ads
  • 56% trusted TV spots and magazine placements
  • 26% trusted banner ads
  • 34% trusted search ads (Pay Per Click)

The big bright spot for digital (and the travel industry) was social media! 78% of respondents trusted recommendations from peers and 61% placed confidence in blogs and other user generated media.

The key takeaway here again is that trust of the consumer is earned over the long term and that relevance, creative and context are critical factors when designing any advertising plan.

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