Trust me, I’m a newspaper ad

Newspapers are the gold standard when it comes to trust in advertising. And consumers know it. BRIAN ROCK shows why.

Australians trust ads in newspapers more than any other medium or platform, according to Nielsen.

Last week Nielsen released the Australian data from The 2015 Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report, and newspapers tops the list of trusted advertising media. Some 58 per cent of respondents say they “completely” or “somewhat” trust ads in newspapers, ahead of all other traditional and online media.

Q: To what extent do you trust the following forms of advertising? (Paid – traditional and online/mobile)

Trust

Source: 2015 Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report, Australian data only

Newspapers also topped the list in Nielsen’s previous Global Trust in Advertising Report in 2013, with an identical score of 58 per cent. What has changed in the past two years is an increase in trust scores for advertising on digital platforms. Mobile ads gained the most, increasing by six percentage points.

Q: To what extent do you trust the following forms of advertising? (Paid –online/mobile)

Trust2

Source: 2013 and 2015 Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report, Australian data only

Although levels of trust in ads on digital platforms are increasing, scores are still much lower compared with newspapers.

The trust gap between social media sites and newspapers is noteworthy. Social media sites may have large numbers of frequent visitors, but this isn’t translating into trust in the advertising content. Twice as many people trust ads in newspapers than trust ads on social networks (newspapers: 58%, social networks: 29%), according to Nielsen.

Decisions, decisions.

This gap is consistent with emma data which shows that consumers consider more useful than social media when making purchase decisions. In every case, from holidays to fashion, respondents say that newspapers are more useful than social media.

Media useful for

Source: emma, 12 months to September 2015

 The influence gap.

The Newspaper Works has also been studying perceptions of media influence, comparing media agencies’ perceptions against those of a representative sample of Australians. The results show that agency perceptions are significantly different from public perceptions.

When asked to choose the two media channels agencies considered to have the greatest influence on Australian consumers, media agencies ranked digital and out-of-home channels far more highly in influence than the public. Digital was 25 percentage points higher for agencies, and out-of-home was 19 points higher.

Apart from out-of-home, agency respondents consider traditional media channels to be less influential than the public does. While 27 per cent of respondents from the public considered newspapers one of the two most influential media, fewer than half as many (13 per cent) of agency respondents agreed, a 14 point gap.

Q: Which media channels do you consider to have the greatest influence on Australian consumers? (Ranked on difference)

Media channel

General Public  (Aug-15) Media Agencies  (Oct-15) Difference
( Agencies – Public)
Out-of-home 4 29 +25
Online/ digital 57 76 +19
Newspaper media 27 13 -14
TV 82 74 -8
Magazines 12 6 -6
Radio 19 18 -1

Sources: Research Now OmniTaxi, August 20-25 2015, Media I Industry Survey / The Newspaper Works Oct 2015

 This strongly suggests that many agencies are undervaluing the influence newspapers have on consumers. Given that newspapers outperform social media on trust, usefulness, and influence, there are good reasons to reconsider the balance.

Sources: 1) The Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Survey, Feb. – March 2015. 2) emma, 12 months to September 2015. Survey conducted by Ipsos MediaCT, people 14+, Nielsen Online Ratings, September 2015, people 14+ only. 3) Research Now OmniTaxi, August 20-25 2015. 4) Media I Industry Survey / The Newspaper Works Oct 2015.

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