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Nielsen Study Shows Paid Ads Alone Are Not Trusted by Consumers

A global study by Nielsen finds that a majority of consumers
do not, in general, typically trust any type of paid advertising-and TV, print,
outdoor and radio ads all score higher on the consumer trust list than online
and mobile ads.

Branded websites, however, are trusted more than any type of
advertising other than recommendations from friends and consumer opinions
posted online.

The study shows that the best form of advertisement for a
brand is to win over users who then can tout it to their friends or in comments
online. In the study, 92% of people said they "trust completely or somewhat"
recommendations from people they know when buying a product; 70% trust consumer
opinions posted online.

Branded websites and editorial articles about products and
brands are each trusted by 58% of those surveyed, while information in an email
a consumer signs up for is trusted by 50% of those surveyed. No other
advertising is trusted by more than 50% of the respondents.

Ads on television, ads in magazines, outdoor advertising and
brand sponsorships are each trusted by 47% of those surveyed. Ads in newspapers
are trusted by 46%, ads on radio by 42% and ads before movies in theaters by

And for those marketers who believe that product
integrations can work because they are seamless-only 40% of respondents trust
TV program product placements.

Online video ads and ads on social networks are trusted by
only 36%, online banner ads and display ads on mobile devices by 33% and text
ads on mobile phones by 29%.

The survey points out that while paid advertising scores low,
the medium continues to thrive, hinting that marketers may need to reevaluate
how they spend their promotion dollars.

Randall Beard, global head of advertiser solutions at
Nielsen, says for most brands, a strategy that would give up paid advertising
completely and move into more branded websites and social media "isn't really
feasible given both the broad reach and historical success associated with paid

Instead, Beard says, "we need to start thinking of how paid,
owned and earned can work together to improve trust and deliver better results."
He says marketers "continue to discuss them as if they are mutually
exclusive media. They're not. And now technology is blurring the lines of paid,
owned and earned media more than ever. Paid can now also be social, as social
is often about paid. Owned can have paid embedded media in it. And sometimes,
all three can exist in one consumer touch point."

Nielsen offers three examples of convergence between paid,
owned and earned media.

1. Combining paid ads
with social advertising

"Research on Facebook ads with and without a social layer
shows that social ads generate much stronger breakthrough and purchase intent
than ads without a social layer," Beard says. The reason is that knowing that
the advertised brand is liked by friends builds trust.

Nielsen research shows that a brand gets 55% greater ad
recall when a social element is added.

2. Paid digital advertising
can drive consumers to a brand's owned media

In one example of many in a Nielsen study that yielded the
same results, 5.4% of those exposed to an online display campaign for a brand
subsequently visited that brand's website, while only 0.4% not exposed to the
online display advertising visited that brand's website.

3. Owned media can work
harder than paid media alone

An example in the Nielsen study shows that exposure to a
brand's website drove almost three times the sales lift of paid digital ads

"Addressing the truth deficit in advertising is more than
just making ads that are true," Beard says. "It's also about how to use paid,
owned and earned media to your brand's advantage. Why not build social into
your paid advertising where possible, use your paid ads to drive consumers to
your website and optimize your site to drive maximum on- or off-line purchases?
Why not experiment with the myriad ways to engage your customers across the
paid, owned and earned continuum?"

Beard says overcoming the trust deficit in advertising is "about
adding in social and owned media experiences in ways that give paid media more
legitimacy, enabling it to work harder for your brand."