Monday, 14 May 2012

New Nielsen Data finds trust in TV Advertising in major decline and advises money to move online. They better keep their heads down.

You really can't get a researched company more steeped in traditional Advertising than Nielsen. For many years, Ad Agencies have looked to Nielsen for reliable, robust, accurate reporting of media data, notably on TV, to provide verification for their clients spends (or not, as the case may be).

But Nielsen is at the core of Ad Agencies.

And Ad Agencies have been hugely supportive of Nielsen both ideologically, and also financially - to the tune of millions and millions of pounds.

Whatever then, convinced Nielsen to issue its report this week, "Global trust in advertising and brand messages" it was clearly not personal survival or the ongoing goodwill towards Ad Agencies, its customers. 

Perhaps a "publish and be damned" attitude? 
Brave, in a depressed market especially, because there's no doubt, any Agency reading the report would wonder what they ever did on Nielsen.

The report in essence, drives a further nail into traditional advertising and de facto, the Ad Agencies who depend on it - in turn, Nielsen's customers. Because it will be hard to pooh-pooh this study when it comes from the very same research house that Agencies quote verbatim. Verbatim, daily.

The most trusted forms of engagement, a long way before advertising of any sort (which is in decline again compared to the previous survey) is "recommendations from people I know". 

In other words, a Facebook post or a Tweet from someone you know apart from someone telling you face-to-face. And Nielsen are telling brands to move this way.

And "recommendations" continue to rise dramatically over the past 5 years whilst traditional advertising (TV, Press, Radio, Outdoor) becomes less trusted and are in steep decline.

Indeed it points again to the likes of the great Snickers tweet campaign via "Jordan" Katie Price. The "buy a tweet" idea might be even more powerful than we thought.

Next to trust, is Brand websites (online again) and after that "consumer opinions posted online". Presumably a reference to blogs of all kinds (personal and the TechCrunchs/Mashables of this world).

After that is "editorial" such as a newspaper article and after that again, Brand sponsorship.

Only then does TV advertising enter the frame. Jeez, even email marketing comes out ahead! Wow.

I couldn't put it better myself than Randall Beard, a global head at Nielsen -

"The growth in trust for online search and display ads over the past 4 years should give marketers increased confidence in putting more of their ad dollars into this medium" said Beard and "brands should be watching this emerging channel as it continues to grow".

Put more of your money online says, eh, Nielsen. It's actually hard to spit that out.....

Worse again, they show that not even half the responders trusted TV advertising.

And it's declining at a rate of 24% in 3 years.

Yet it achieves the majority of advertising dollars, presumably on the strength in no small part of Nielsen's own TV Research! 
Strange that?

28,000 respondents (in other words a huge survey) in late 2011 (so it's recent) and you'll get their Press Release here

Clearly Nielsen is a company that just calls it as it is and values its integrity before its own financial standing. To be applauded.... because once Ad Agencies and trade bodies and media owners (notably TV media owners) see this, there is going to be war. And they'd argue, not unreasonably.

It's hard for them to accept a company saying one thing on the one hand, and something else on the other that seems to contradict. Or to produce research which seems to only further the ongoing demise of its very own clients.

But it's good to see Nielsen of all people, endorsing the online space in such a concerted way.

Personally I think they miss a trick by lumbering it all together and comparing one against the other. They're different mediums with different attributes at different times. 

It seems obvious of course, that I'm more likely to trust and believe something which a friends tells me. I always have.

It is not, nor ever meant to be, that such a level of trust is in anyway comparable with TV Advertising and therefore, should be measured/treated separately. 

The whole exercise is one to behold in amazement.
Watch this space.