Online Consumers Trust Branded Site Ads Most, SMS Ads Least

nielsen-trust-in-advertising-feb-2012.jpgOnline consumers place the most trust in advertising they find on branded websites, according to [download page] a report released in February 2012 by Nielsen and NM Incite. 52% of online consumers indicated trust in these ads, ahead of ads on TV (46%), TV program product placements, and ads served in search engine results (both at 36%). Roughly one-third trust online video ads and ads on social networks, while about 3 in 10 trust online banner ads. Ads served on mobile devices are the least trusted, though: 27% trust display ads (video or banner) on mobile devices, and 26% trust text (SMS) ads on mobile phones.

Online consumers’ trust in social media ads roughly mirrors their feelings about these ads’ usefulness: according to a study released in December 2011 by Epsilon Targeting, 31% of Americans said they find advertising on social media sites to be either not very or not at all useful, compared to just 13% who find them somewhat or very useful.

Women More Trusting Than Men

Data from Nielsen’s “Digital Consumer Report Q3-Q4 2011″ indicates that although men and women show similar levels of trust for the sources that top the list, branded websites, TV, and TV program product placements, after that women show much stronger levels of trust than men. For example, female online consumers are 28.6% more likely than their male counterparts to trust ads on social networks (36% vs. 28%), 41.7% more likely to trust online banner ads (34% vs. 24%), 34.8% more likely to trust display ads on mobile devices (31% vs. 23%), and 24.1% more likely to trust SMS ads on mobile phones (29% vs. 22%).

Tablet Owners More Receptive to Ads

nielsen-ad-response-by-device-feb-2012.jpgMeanwhile, tablet owners appear to be more receptive to ads viewed on their device than smartphone owners. They are more than twice as likely to click on an ad to view the full ad or product offering (24% vs. 11%), and almost twice as likely to search for more information about the business (21% vs. 11%) and use or request a coupon through the ad (13% vs. 7%).

The only activity in which tablet owners and smartphone owners demonstrate similar response is in making a purchase through their computer (23% vs. 20%).

1 in 3 Like Location-Based Info

Among smartphone, tablet, and connected device mobile device owners, about 1 in 3 find ads that offer custom information based on their location to be useful. Roughly one-quarter say they are more likely to look at ads if they have an interesting video, and 20% enjoy ads that have interactive features.

A Q4 2011 report released in February 2012 by JiWire finds much higher levels of interest in locally relevant ads: data from that report indicates that 80% of mobile consumers prefer ads that are locally relevant to them, while three-quarters of consumers have taken action in response to a location-specific message.

About the Data: Nielsen’s data on advertising trust is from its “Trust in Advertising: Nielsen Global Survey, 3Q 2011.” Data regarding connected device owners is from its “Mobile Connected Device Report, Q3 2011.”