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3 minute read | September 2015

Trust in traditional offline advertising forms still high

Diemen – September 30, 2015 – The most credible form of advertising comes directly from people we know and trust. According to the Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report published today, seventy-seven percent of online respondents in the Netherlands rely on recommendations from friends and family. That is two percentage points lower than in 2013.

Own online channels are also among the most trusted forms of advertising. Seventy-three percent of respondents said they trust opinions posted on the Internet. That is good for second place in 2015, as in 2013. Trust in advertising on brand websites increased by six percentage points in 2015 to 64%. This form came in third place, two places higher compared to 2013. In addition, sixty-three percent of the Dutch respondents rely on editorial content, such as newspaper articles. However, this confidence has decreased by two percentage points compared to 2013.

There is not one simple rule by which to optimize the effectiveness of advertising in a saturated market. However, a good starting point is to understand what consumers think about advertisements on the different media platforms they use every day.

“Despite advertisers following consumers online, a third of online advertising campaigns are ineffective. They don’t increase exposure or increase purchase intent,” said Randall Beard, president, Nielsen Expanded Verticals. “With consumers more than ever in control of how they view content and interact with brands, the only way to create a memorable impression and promote a brand is to understand how ads are received on different screens.”

The Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Survey polled 30,000 online respondents in 60 countries to gauge consumer trust across 19 paid, earned and proprietary media. The results show which advertising formats are best received by consumers and which offer room for growth.

Despite continuous media fragmentation, the proliferation of online forms has not eroded trust in traditional (offline) paid channels. TV, newspapers and magazines remain familiar forms of advertising. Forty-eight percent of the Dutch respondents state that they fully or somewhat rely on TV commercials. That is three percentage points lower than in 2013. About the same number rely on advertisements in newspapers (50%) and magazines (47%), although that trust has fallen by five and four percentage points respectively from two years ago.

Trust in paid online and mobile advertising has remained relatively consistent since 2013. Thirty-two percent of Dutch respondents say they rely completely or somewhat on online ad videos (32%, down two points from 2013), ads appearing in search results (41%, down three percentage points), and ads on social networks ( 37%, up two percentage points). Twenty-eight percent of Dutch respondents rely on online advertising banners (no change from 2013) and mobile advertising (28%, a decrease of one percentage point). Just under a quarter say they rely on mobile text ads (23%, down one percentage point).

“As brands become more familiar with digital advertising and analytics, they are investing more in digital advertising. However, if we look at global trends, TV advertising still has the highest unique reach (the ad only reaches someone in the target audience once) of 85%-90%,” said Beard. “While digital advertising offers great benefits, such as targeted campaigns, interim adjustments and more creative opportunities, moving from TV to an all-digital plan is a bold move for any marketer. A mix of both offline and online channels yields the best ROI.”


Nielsen N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides comprehensive insights into consumer viewing and purchasing behavior. Nielsen’s “WATCH” segment provides viewing and listening measurement services to media and advertisers for all devices on which content – video, audio and text – is consumed. The “BUY” segment offers manufacturers and retailers of consumer packaged goods the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from both segments with other data sources, Nielsen provides its customers with world-class measurements and analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, is active in more than 100 countries, representing more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit