In Friends We Trust

Global consumer trust in advertising 2009, Nielsen

The impact of social networking on trust

To the right of this text is a little scan I recently made from an article in The Economist.

The article looked at the impact of social networking, had a good laugh at News Corps’ expense concerning the mess it’s made of MySpace, marvelled at Facebook’s near 400m members and also the 2.5bn monthly upload of images, and pointed out that web users don’t greatly trust advertising.

Well, having worked in advertising for twenty-nine years, this wasn’t exactly hot news, but what was interesting was the scale of things.

The chart on the right was compiled by Nielsen at the start of 2009. Things might have changed a little since then, but probably not much. Thirty-five percent of interviewees said that they completely trusted their friends’ recommendations, whereas fewer than ten percent of respondents said they completely trusted TV advertising.

If brands are to use social networking to sell goods and services, they are going to have to behave like people rather than as broadcasters, which gives good ground for believing Richard Stacy’s point of view that brands will have to become storytellers. Have a look at Richard’s website here: