NEW YORK: Consumer trust in television and print advertising has declined over the last four years, but perceptions of digital alternatives are improving.

Nielsen, the research firm, polled 28,000 web users in 56 countries, and found 92% had high levels of confidence in "earned media" like word of mouth and recommendations, an 18% increase since 2007.

Online shopper reviews were regarded with similar approval by 70% of interviewees, a 15% leap in the last four years.

Just 47% of participants held TV, press and magazine ads in the same esteem. Within this, scores for television dropped by 25%, newspapers were down by 20% and magazines slid 20%.

Returns dipped to 42% for radio advertising and 41% for the cinema equivalent. Meanwhile, product placement in television shows registered 40% on this measure.

Looking to the web, another 40% of the panel trusted paid search, up from 34% in 2007. Banner ads recorded 33% here, bettering the 26% they scored in the previous survey.

Online video advertising also generated 36%, matching the total for "sponsored" ads on social networks. Mobile banners and display received 33% here, and SMS marketing secured 29%.

Elsewhere, Nielsen's analysis revealed that 58% of respondents viewed "owned media" like brand websites as credible information sources, and 50% agreed with the statement for opt-in emails.

A further 50% of the sample saw TV spots as "personally relevant" when seeking details about products they "want or need". This total rose to 65% in the Middle East, Africa and Pakistan, but fell to just 30% in Europe.

Ratings on this metric fell to 42% for paid search, 36% concerning social networking and video ads, and 33% for internet banners.

"While brand marketers increasingly seek to deploy more effective advertising strategies ... the continued proliferation of media messages may be impacting how well they resonate with their intended audiences on various platforms," Randall Beard, Nielsen's global head, advertiser solutions, said.

"The growth in trust for online search and display ads over the past four years should give marketers increased confidence in putting more of their ad dollars into this medium."

Data sourced from Nielsen; additional content by Warc staff