Earned Media Tops Other Ad Sources, TV Ad Trust Up

Word-of-mouth marketing -- as well as TV advertising -- continues to score improving and high marks.

A new study from Nielsen says 84% of global consumers say recommendations from friends and family -- also called “earned media,” for some -- rate higher than other sources of advertising.

Nielsen said it polled more than 29,000 Internet respondents in 58 countries to measure consumer sentiment on 19 forms of paid, earned and owned-advertising formats.

Other word-of-mouth marketing also did well: 68% of respondents say they trust consumer opinions posted online, which ranked third of all advertising formats in 2013. Nielsen says content and messaging on brand Web sites scored a bit better with 69% number for high marks in trust -- up 60% from 2007.

Trust in television ads increased to 62% from 56% in 2013. Traditional paid media continues to own the majority share of spend, with TV getting the most, at a 59% share.

Magazine ads were right behind TV, scoring 60% in the trust area -- up from 56%. Newspaper ads were the only format to decline: 61% versus 63% in 2007.

More than half (56%) of respondents said they trust consumer-consented email messages, an improvement from 49% in 2007.

Those under the 50% mark, when it comes to trust, include: search engine ads, 48%; online banner ads, 42%; mobile display ads, 45%; and mobile text ads, 37%. That said, many of the new digital categories show significant improvement over six years in terms of trust with consumers.

Nielsen describes “earned media” or “earned advertising” as advertising endorsed by a third party; “owned advertising” as advertising managed by a brand; and “paid advertising” as advertising paid for by a brand.
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