U.K. Ad Study: Cinema Spots See Big Gain in Trust

Nielsen also finds Brits now trust online banner and text message promotions more, but trust personal recommendations most and are less likely than people globally to act on social network ads.

LONDON – Eighty-one percent of British consumers say they trust word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family more than any form of advertising, according to a Nielsen study.

Opt-in email promotions are the second most-trusted form of promotion, with 63 percent of Brits finding them worth their trust. That is up five percentage points over a similar study conducted in 2007. Across Europe, only 43 percent of people trust opt-in emails, while globally, 56 percent approve of the method. That ranks opt-in emails as the 11th most-trusted ad form worldwide.

Cinema advertising has seen one of the biggest increases in trust over the past six years in Britain - rising to 53 percent, up from 42 percent.

Brits also have high levels of trust for editorial content in the media (62 percent) and consumer opinions posted online (61 percent). TV ads (60 percent), radio (57 percent) and newspaper ads (56 percent) are the most trusted forms of paid advertising. Overall, British consumers' trust in traditional advertising was found to be "still strong" overall, Nielsen said.

Nielsen’s Global Survey of Trust in Advertising polled more than 29,000 Internet respondents in 58 countries to measure consumer sentiment on 19 ad formats.

Of the 13 formats covered in both the 2007 and 2013 surveys, consumer opinion online is the only one to experience a decrease in trust among British people, down four percentage points.

“When it comes to advertising, third party endorsements – a personal recommendation or other people’s opinions posted online – and welcomed emails have the strongest influence on consumers’ decision-making,” said James Oates, U.K. managing director of media at Nielsen. “This finding reinforces how vital it is for companies to focus on the quality of their products and customer service in order to drive adoption and attract positive proponents willing to market on their behalf.”

In other Nielsen findings, around one-third of U.K. respondents said they trust online video ads. Along with cinema spots, online banners have experienced the joint largest increase in trust – rising 11 percentage points to 34 percent.

Mobile ads and text message ads are the least credible of the 19 formats covered in the U.K. with 30 percent and 25 percent, respectively, finding them trustworthy, but text ads have seen a gain of 10 percentage points. Globally, however, mobile ads are trusted by 45 percent and text ads by 37 percent.

Said Oates: "The results show that U.K. advertisers still have work to do to reach the levels of trust that consumers have in these formats around the world. Here, though, there is still the potential that online and mobile ads are seen as more intrusive – particularly given the increasingly personal relationship consumers have with their tablets and smartphones."

Among ad formats most conducive to taking action, British consumers again ranked personal recommendations and emails highest - at 69 percent and 61 percent, respectively.

However, TV advertising – ranking fifth for trust – is the third most conducive to taking action with 54 percent.

Only 30 percent of U.K. respondents said they take action as a result of seeing ads on social networks – noticeably fewer than people globally (54 percent) and Europeans (41 percent).

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai