Nielsen study - Global Trust in Advertising 2015

Nielsen’s 2015’s edition of "Global Trust in Advertising" study including new, Europe-specific figures is out.

Whilst we’ve had to do with global numbers in our articles and whitepapers until now, the new 2015 report contains European data, allowing us to make more meaningful claims about our UK market and playground.

Trust in advertising Europe

The new report shows that offline and online word-of-mouth (WOM) are the top one (78%) and two (60%) most trusted forms of advertising in Europe. No other advertising form is considered as trustworthy as word-of-mouth recommendations by European consumers.

But hang on a minute, in the study from 2013, WOM was trusted by 84% of consumers. Has the trust in WOM dropped?

The answer is no. The 84% that’s been referred to in articles all around the world up until now is the worldwide average, and not specific to Europe. Looking at trust data in general, it is evident that respondents were more trusting in Africa and Asia, whilst Europeans were less trusting in general, accounting for this apparent drop. The following chart demonstrates that worldwide, trust in WOM still is at an average of 84%, so all you WOM enthusiasts out there can relax.

Trust in advertising worldwide

An actual (albeit minor) decrease can be found when looking at online WOM. The chart above shows that trust in online WOM has dropped by 2% compared to figures from 2013. This may be a result of web users becoming increasingly savvy and having discovered that not all companies are as honest as one might wish, and that unfortunately not all ratings and reviews are authentic, damaging the reputation of online opinions across the board.

Human instincts unswayed by evolving marketing landscape

Peer-to-peer recommendations are yet again proven to be the most credible form of advertising out there, as 8 in 10 respondents in Nielsen's study completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family. But another interesting finding is that trust isn’t confined only to our inner circle. Despite the dip, two thirds of people still trust the opinions of fellow consumers online.

The advertising landscape is evolving at an extraordinary pace, but basic human instincts such as trust and the need to connect with our peers remain unchanged.

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