Ninety-two percent of consumers around the world say they trust earned media, such as word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends and family, above all other forms of advertising—an increase of 18% since 2007, according to a new study from Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy. Online consumer reviews are the second most trusted form of advertising with 70% of global consumers surveyed online indicating they trust this platform, an increase of 15% in four years.
Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Survey of more than 28,000 Internet respondents in 56 countries shows that while nearly half (47%) of consumers around the world say they trust paid television, magazine and newspaper ads, confidence declined by 24%, 20% and 25% respectively since 2009. Still, the majority of advertising dollars are spent on traditional or paid media, such as television. In 2011, overall global ad spend saw a seven% increase over 2010, according to Nielsen’s most recent Global AdView Pulse. This growth in spend was driven by a nearly 10% increase in television advertising, with countries, including the U.S. and China, attracting more advertising dollars versus the year prior.
“While brand marketers increasingly seek to deploy more effective advertising strategies, Nielsen’s survey shows that the continued proliferation of media messages may be impacting how well they resonate with their intended audiences on various platforms,” said Randall Beard, global head, Advertiser Solutions at Nielsen. “Although television advertising will remain a primary way marketers connect with audiences due to its unmatched reach compared to other media, consumers around the world continue to see recommendations from friends and online consumer opinions as by far the most credible. As a result, successful brand advertisers will seek ways to better connect with consumers and leverage their goodwill in the form of consumer feedback and experiences.”
Nielsen’s survey shows that 58% of global online consumers trust “owned media,” such as messages on company websites, and 50% find content in emails they consented to receive to be credible.
Forty percent of global respondents find product placements in TV programs to be credible, while 42% trust radio ads and 41% trust pre-movie cinema messages.
Trust in Online Ads
Thirty-six percent of global online consumers report trust in online video ads, and 33% believe messages in online banner ads, up from 26% in 2007. Ads viewed in search engine results are trusted by 40% of global respondents in Nielsen’s survey, up from 34% in 2007. Sponsored ads on social networking sites are deemed credible by 36% of global respondents.
“The growth in trust for online search and display ads over the past four years should give marketers increased confidence in putting more of their ad dollars into this medium,” said Beard. “Many companies are already increasing their paid advertising activity on social networking sites, in part due to the high level of trust consumers place in friends’ recommendations and online opinions. Brands should be watching this emerging ad channel closely as it continues to grow.”
Trust in Mobile Ads
According to Nielsen’s survey, one-third of global respondents trust video or banner display ads on mobile devices such as tablets or smartphones. Approximately one-third (29%) of global online consumers said they trust mobile phone text ads, an increase of 21% since 2009 and 61% since 2007.
When considering ad relevance, 50% of global online consumers find TV ads to be personally relevant when they are looking for information on products they want or need, particularly among consumers in the Middle East, Africa and Pakistan, where 65% find TV ads to be highly pertinent to their needs. By contrast, 30% of European respondents consider TV ads to be relevant.
One-third (33%) of global respondents find online banners ads to be relevant, compared to ads on social networks (36%) and online video ads (36%). Forty two% of global consumers find ads in search engine results relevant.
“The high cost of advertising in today’s fragmented media world forces marketers to strive for the most effective and efficient ads,” said Beard. “In order to boost advertising ROI, marketers need to make sure an ad’s content and message is relevant to the consumer who sees it. While we expect to see high relevance levels in ads where the consumer is actively seeking information, such as on a brand’s own website or solicited emails, Nielsen’s survey shows that there is still much potential for marketers looking to reach the right audience through advertiser-driven messages.”
- Foursquare co-founder Naveen Selvadurai is leaving the company, reports AllThingsD, just three years after launching the check-in service. Sevaldurai will remain on the company’s board, but is unsure about “my exact next steps.” Foursquare investor Spark Capital is buying up employee stock, and Selvadurai and co-founder Dennis Crowley previously sold shares in an earlier funding round.
- The Girl Scouts are celebrating the organization’s 100th birthday by “embracing mobile technology and accepting mobile payments for their fundraising cookies,” according to BizReport. Girl Scouts in 23 States are accepting mobile payments, using Sage technology on smart phones and notebook computers, and early returns from North East Ohio troops are encouraging; they report that mobile payment is behind a 13% boost in sales. Girl Scouts estimates its annual cookie program brings in $760 million per year. Troops not using mobile technology experienced flat sales.
- Streaming TV providers “strain to retain” customers, reports Adweek. Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes and Comcast EVP Neil Smit are urging investors to pressure cable operators and Nielsen to support the “TV Everywhere” concept, which allows cable subscribers who can verify their memberships to access cable content digitally, on computers and mobile devices. Bewkes and Smit spoke at last week’s Deutsche Bank Media and Telecommunications Conference. “We’re giving the customers no reason to go anywhere else,” said Smit, describing the company’s Xfinity Streamplay service. The TV Everywhere initiative positions Time Warner and Comcast to better compete against streaming services from Netflix and Hulu. The Time Warner and Comcast stream would differ from Netflix or Hulu in being ad supported.
- Marketing guru and author Seth Godin is grumping at Apple, which refused to carry the digital edition of his new book Stop Stealing Dreams in its iBooks Store. As Time reports, Apple rejected the title because its bibliography included links to rival bookseller Amazon.com. Godin wrote in a blog post entitled “Who decides what gets sold in the bookstore?” “I think that Amazon and Apple and [Barnes & Noble] need to take a deep breath and make a decision on principle: what’s inside the book shouldn’t be of concern to a bookstore with a substantial choke on the marketplace.”
- Southwest Airlines is suing to shut down a website providing Southwest customers with first-in-line boarding, reports Denver Business Journal. SW Software Development’s “MySouthWestCheckin” takes $5 to offer the preferential seating, using a patch-through to the Airline’s own website. Southwest Airlines complains that this robs it of selling and advertising opportunities, and trespasses on Southwest’s website. Southwest Airlines filed its suit in the U.S. District Court in Dallas, where the airline is based.
- Sports piracy brings harsh justice, and from on high. The LA Times reports that federal authorities, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, have “blitzed” 16 websites illegally streaming sports events, and have brought criminal charges against the owner of nine of them. Police arrested Yonjo Quiroa, 28, of Comstock Park, Mich., and charged him with criminal copyright infringement. Quiroa live-streamed NFL, NBL, NHL and World Wrestling Federation events.
- Google’s talks with House lawmakers over privacy concerns “don’t seem to be going well at all,” reports AllThingsD. Two high-ranking Google officials met with members of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Wednesday, to discuss a new policy that unifies 60 Google services under a single user name. “[Google] danced around actual details, and instead spoke in generalities, highlighting their efforts to ‘enhance the user experience’,” said Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas. The proposed privacy changes would grant Google greater license to share user account information between services, outside of the users’ control.
- More grist for the Apple iOS versus Android mill: comScore reported that the Google Android platform took 47.3% share of the smart-phone platform market in December, versus Apple iOS at 29.6%. comScore believes Android’s popularity is the driving force behind Samsung’s 25.3% smart phone market share. That compared to That compared to Apple’s 12.4% share. Apple gained slightly Q3 to Q4, with a 2.2% bump while Samsung held steady.
- Honda proved cross-media value this week. As AdAge Digital reports, Honda’s Ferris Bueller-themed Super Bowl spot (one of the many leaked beforehand) collected 4.4 million views last week, on outlets led by YouTube. The company Visible Measures charted the top 10 ad views, most of them Super Bowl leaks. Second at 3.09 million views was Volkswagen’s “The Bark Side” ad, in which a bunch of dogs bark the Darth Vader theme from “Star Wars.”
- The Twitter Peek has died, reports Engadget. This toy-like Twitter-and-email-only handset, released by Peek in 2009, never caught fire. Its value proposition was $299 for a bare-bones device with lifelong mobile service. But the devices ceased to work on Monday, complained users. Peek CEO Amol Sarva, confirmed the death, and has no plans to replace the devices: Peek will stick to aftermarket software.
Child privacy protection can go too far, complains the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). It believes a proposal by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that strengthens child privacy regulations “would have substantial negative effects for parents, children and companies alike.” The 10-year-old Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) bans website owners from collecting such “unique identifiers” from children, such as names, addresses and telephone numbers, without parental consent. The proposed changes would broaden the definition of a “unique identifier” to include tracking cookies, device serial numbers, and in some cases, IP addresses, reports MediaDailyNews. This, complains IAB, would render behavioral targeting (e.g., targeted advertising and demographic data) practically impossible.
- Sony's PlayStation Network is getting creative with in-game ad opportunites, reports Online Media Daily. In the battle for in-game ad dollars with Microsoft Xbox, there are about 35 Sony partners building content for PlayStation Home. About 20 million players worldwide have access to 8,000 virtual items in the site. The average time spent in home stands at 70 minutes. Popular spaces in Home have about 900,000 engagements per week. Brands such as Ford, Spring, Unilever, Toyota, and Wrigley are advertisers across PSN. In June, Ford became the first U.S. automaker to develop a "space," similar to a virtual area in Second Life, for PlayStation Home.
Research by two assistant professors of marketing at the London School of Business and MIT Sloan School of Management suggests that customized online ads are often ineffective. The study looked at whether it is always optimal for advertisers to provide more specific ad content based on consumers' earlier product interests, as well as when increased specificity of information in an ad is effective, writes Gulf News. When online shoppers were simply looking at a product category, ads that matched their prior web browsing interests were ineffective, the research shows.
Beginning in September, online video ad network Tremor Video will feature the privacy icon on virtually all of the ads that appear on its network, mostly 15- and 30-second commercial spots common to TV. Tremor is the largest video ad network, serving more than 700 million ads to more than 20% of the internet audience acccording to comScore’s May report, writes Ad Age.
Groupon has expanded its location-based deals platform, Groupon Now, with launches in Las Vegas, Minneapolis and Orange County, Calif. this week, bringing the total markets Groupon Now serves to 20. Unlike traditional Groupon deals that are purchased for future use, Groupon Now deals are redeemed immediately and good for that day only.
CBS Interactive has launched CNET Direct Business Solutions, a marketing services business for its tech and business sites, BNET, TechRepublic and ZDNet. CNET Direct Business Solutions was created from the merger of CBS Interactive's U.S.-based direct marketing services unit and the group's international division, writes BtoB Online.
Nearly eight in 10 U.S. and U.K. consumers have privacy concerns when it comes to making purchases via Facebook, according to a study conducted and released by ad agency JWT. Out of around 1,000 adults surveyed online, 75% said they "don't think Facebook is secure enough to make purchases on," while almost as many declared they wouldn’t use a shopping application on Facebook because of concerns that it could compromise privacy, reports ClickZ.com.
The Next Web has a roundup of the top 20 brands on Facebook, putting Coca-Cola at the top of the list with more than 31 million fans. Amazingly, the site was first started by fans – not the company – and it was allowed to continue in that fashion. Other top brands on their list include Starbucks, Oreos, Red Bull, Converse and Skittles.
After two years of cooperation, Google’s Realtime service and Twitter have ended a deal which Google displayed results from Twitter on subject-based searches – meaning those Twitter results no longer appear, writes Paid Content. At least at the moment, all of Google Realtime is offline, with the URL for the site producing an error 404.
Yahoo spent $580,000 in January-March 2011 to lobby the federal government on issues such as privacy related to online advertising and e-commerce, Internet security and consumer protection, according to the Associated Press. The company spent a bit more -- $590,000 -- in Q4 2010 and $530,000 it spent in the same period last year. Google spent $1.48 million to lobby the government and federal regulators in the January-March period.
The Secret Service and Fox News are investigating a series of attacks early Monday on one of the news network's Twitter feeds, FoxNewspolitics, in which hackers said that President Obama had been assassinated in Iowa. The six messages were taken down several hours -- around noon today -- after they were posted, writes Deadline Hollywood.
Marketing and advertising group WPP has blacklisted more than 2,000 U.S. websites that carry illegal or pirated content in order to keep client as campaigns in legitimate digital media space, reports The Guardian. The US division of GroupM, WPP's media planning and buying division in the U.S., spends about $3.5bn annually on buying online ad spaces on websites for the clients such as Ford, AT&T and IBM. All publishers that want to carry advertising with GroupM will have to sign up to its new anti-piracy policy, the article said.
Online ad startup Taykey, which targets audiences across social media, launched its service and announced closing second-round funding of $9 million from investors including Sequoia Capital, Softbank Capital and Crescent Point. Taykey's advertising platform uses an algorithm that analyzes trending data in real-time to find audiences on online social properties, reports Media Post.
Daily deal site, Coupons. com has secured $200 million in equity funding from institutional investors, up to half of which will be used to "facilitate liquidity" for employees and early investors. Another goal: "to attract a new demographic of coupon user,” writes Media Post.
Fwix has launched its free Geotagger application, an application allowing publishers and websites to organize their content around locations. NBC Local Media is partnering in this public beta program launch by rolling out Fwix’s Geotagger across its online properties in 10 major US markets. The company’s Geotagger technology identifies the places mentioned in a given piece of web content, and publishers can then access the location data provided by Fwix for increased relevance and performance in location-based advertising.
Jill Abramson, a former Washington bureau chief for The New York Times, will become the paper’s executive editor, succeeding Bill Keller, who is stepping down to become a full-time writer for the paper. Dean Baquet, the Washington bureau chief, will become the managing editor for news. Keller ran the newsroom for eight years through declining revenue and cutbacks throughout the industry, but he said that with a formidable combination of Abramson and Baquet in place to succeed him, it was time to step aside, reports The New York Times.
B2B print advertising pages declined 1% in February compared with the year-earlier period, according to Business Information Network figures released by American Business Media. B2b pages also dipped 0.3% in the first two months of the year. The strongest category in February was transportation and logistics, with ad pages growing 43.4%. Automotive followed with a 21.5% increase. Electronic engineering was the weakest category, with ad pages falling 26.5%. Aviation, aerospace and military followed with a 15.2% decline, reports B-to-B Online.
Epsilon and the Direct Marketing Association’s Email Experience Council released the Q1 2011 North America Email Trends and Benchmarks Results which show a 4.2% increase in open rates over Q1 2010 and a 39.2% increase in average volume per client from Q1 2010. Other findings include a a decrease in click to conversion rates, down 4.7% over last quarter, but with an 26.5% increase over the same quarter last year. The 3.0% conversion rate is the strongest over a three year period, suggesting that email continues to be a strong channel for revenue.
- Google reported that a phishing scheme, which appears to have originated in China, has affected the personal Gmail accounts of hundreds of users including, among others, senior U.S. government officials, Chinese political activists, officials in several Asian countries (predominantly South Korea), military personnel and journalists.