Texts, banners and search ads are least trusted

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…


6 Responses to Texts, banners and search ads are least trusted

  1. N says:

    Mass communication is untrustworthy. Sure, word of mouth is the number 1 trusted means of communication as it conveys the (right?) message to the right consumer…a person who has a need (as opposed to the person who dose not have the need and receives the text on his phone).

    The best marketing strategy: to be totally remarkable…from all angles..Harley, Gillette, Virgin, Starbucks, UPS, Vitra, etc.

  2. NJ says:

    @ N: Starbucks and Virgin have relied on social media (and made extremely good use of it) of late.

  3. N says:

    You are right. However, before even social media was born, they relied on living their brand (inside out). They were and are remarkable businesses.

  4. shirine says:

    least trusted forms of advertising in the UAE doesn’t mean we should give up on it. online advertising is still young in our region and is going to take time to pick up and people develop trust. people on the other hand have developed immunity against over used media.

    also it worth to mention, focus grous in ME is the least trusted method of research. and we all know why!

  5. Ali says:

    Why such a title for this article?

    This is not something new. Online banners and SEM have been at this level of trust compare to other forms of advertising. This is known given the nature of the advertisers online and the skepticism associated with many of the messages we see.

    Actually both forms have improved by 7% globally since 2007.

  6. Yes but peeps a new form of MMS Mobile TV Advertising is shortly being introduced into the market soon.

    Watch this space …

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