Branding, Online Reviews, and Word-of-Mouth Most Trusted Forms of Advertising, According to Nielsen

Nielsen is releasing data showing that recommendations from friends and family top the list of most trusted forms of advertising, with online reviews and branding topping the list as well.

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Here's how ad trust has changed over the past two years:

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But what is the reason for the change?

"The explosion in Consumer Generated Media over the last couple of years - we are now tracking over 100 million CGM sources - means consumers' reliance on word of mouth in the decision-making process, either from people they know or online consumers they don't, has increased significantly," says Jonathan Carson, President of Online, International, for the Nielsen Company."

You can read the entire report here (PDF).

What do you think is the cause for the shifts in ad trust? Share your opinion in the comments below?