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BizReport : Advertising archives : July 09, 2009

Nielsen: Personal recommendations 'most trusted'

Forget anonymous product reviews, what today's consumer really wants is a personal recommendation, preferably from a trusted friend. According to a new report from Nielsen Online, personal recommendations are the most trusted form of advertising around the world.

by Kristina Knight

Online consumer opinions are also highly trusted according to the report. Nielsen surveyed 25,000 online consumers in 50 countries for the bi-annual "Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey". Researchers found that 90% of online consumers trust recommendations made by friends, acquaintances and family while 70% of consumers trust online product reviews.

"The explosion in consumer-generated media (CGM) over the last couple of years. . .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," said Jonathan Carson, President of Online, International, for the Nielsen Company. "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."

Branded websites also appeal to consumers, with 70% reporting they trust the information provided on branded sites. Nielsen is now tracking more than 100 consumer generated media sources.

Tags: consumer generated content, consumer recommendation, Nielsen Online, product recommendations, recommendations

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