Texts, banners and search ads are least trusted

July 29, 2009

Text messages, web banners and search engine ads are the least trusted forms of advertising in the UAE, according to new research from Nielsen.

According to Nielsen’s survey of consumers, 70 per cent of people in the Emirates have little or no trust in text ads on mobile phones, 65 per cent feel the same about online banners and 61 per cent feel the same about ads attached to search engine results.

Recommendations by personal acquaintances and opinions posted by consumers online are the most trusted forms of advertising globally, according to the latest twice-yearly Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey of over 25,000 internet consumers from 50 countries.

In the UAE, the survey shows 95 per cent of internet consumers trust recommendations from people they know, making word of mouth the most trusted medium. Editorial content came in second place, with 84 per cent of UAE respondents trusting it completely or somewhat, ahead of newspaper ads (78 per cent), brand websites (72 per cent each), brand sponsorships (68 per cent) and consumer opinions posted online (66 per cent). Magazine ads, outdoor media, radio ads, cinema ads and TVCs came next in the UAE list.

Jonathan Carson, president of online, international, for the Nielsen Company, said: “The explosion in consumer generated media over the last couple of years – we are now tracking over 100 million CGM sources – means consumers’ reliance on word of mouth in the decision-making process, either from people they know or online consumers they don’t, has increased significantly.

“However, we see that all forms of advertiser-led advertising, except ads in newspapers, have also experienced increases in levels of trust and it’s possible that the CGM revolution has forced advertisers to use a more realistic form of messaging that is grounded in the experience of consumers rather than the lofty ideals of the advertisers.”

A press statement from Nielsen added: “Regional advertisers will be encouraged by the fact that brand websites and brand sponsorships are quickly catching up to newspaper advertising, the most trusted form of advertiser-led advertising in the UAE. Globally, the UAE is the 16th most favourable towards brand sponsorships (out of 50 countries surveyed), 18th most favourable towards brand websites and 31st for trusting consumer opinions online.”

Tahir Khalil, head of Nielsen Online for MENA, said: “It is clear from the survey that online is a medium on the move and the trust levels in it as a category are building momentum, not only here in the UAE but also globally. It is for this reason Nielsen has rolled out its new Market Intelligence offering, a service based on a precise site-centric measurement technology that provides competitive benchmarking and market-level information on websites for the publishing and advertising industries.”

Is anyone surprised by these results? Let us know what you think…


Abu Dhabi set to launch HD TV channel in October

July 29, 2009

AD HD LogoThe introduction of High Definition TV in the Middle East is gathering pace. Less than a month after Showtime launched an HD service, Abu Dhabi Media Company has announced plans to put its own HD channel, Abu Dhabi HD, on air across the UAE in October.

The new channel promises English Premiership football (though this is not likely to be the case until the beginning of the 2010-11 season when ADMC’s broadcast rights kick into action), plus documentaries from National Geographic Abu Dhabi, drama and movies, all with the sharper detail and visual clarity that the HD platform offers.

Abu Dhabi HD will be accessible through E-Vision to viewers in the UAE with compatible HD television sets and set-top boxes, which are available from electronics retailers.

Mohamed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, chairman of ADMC, said: “Abu Dhabi Media Company is proud to play a role in contributing to the growth of Abu Dhabi as a regional and international media hub. With ADMC boasting 40 years of successful broadcast history, and HD being lauded as the biggest breakthrough in broadcasting since colour television, it seemed natural for ADMC to make High Definition television accessible to its viewers in the UAE.

“The launch of Abu Dhabi HD is a significant milestone for ADMC,” added Edward Borgerding, CEO of ADMC. “HD is the future of television, both broadcast and Internet Protocol TV (IPTV), and it is essential that ADMC offers its viewers the opportunity to experience the latest most modern advances in television quality.”

Karim Sarkis, ADMC’s executive director of broadcast, said: “HD TV has rapidly gained international popularity and we are delighted to be able to bring this experience into the homes of viewers in the UAE. Abu Dhabi HD will be available through E-Vision, and will deliver rich, outstanding content to viewers equipped with easy-to-install HD TVs and set-top boxes. The Personal Video Recorder (PVR) function, will allow viewers to pause, rewind and record while watching the latest films, dramas, documentaries from National Geographic Abu Dhabi or sporting action from the English Premier League.”