LONDON: "The consumer isn't a moron; she is your wife," advertising guru David Ogilvy once opined. Online content providers and retailers should pay particular attention to this maxim, after research by TNS found that British housewives spend more time surfing the web than anyone else.

According to the study of 27,000 people in sixteen countries, housewives in the UK spent 47% of their free time online, compared with an average total of 28% among the 2,500 British participants.

By contrast, the average Chinese respondent spent 44% of his/her leisure time online, with their Danish counterparts recording the lowest total, at just 15%.

In all, UK participants said 25% of their friends, around 17 people, were effectively "online-only", a figure that rose to 33% among 35–44 year olds.

The Digital World, Digital Life poll also reported 58% of Britons had met with someone face-to-face having first made contact on the web, with 76% of Germans saying the same, the highest total on this measure.

Among British respondents, friends were the most trusted source of information, followed by online news, which was "highly trusted" by a total of 40% of the sample from the country.

Print media was "highly trusted" by just 23% of participating UK consumers (the same rating as consumer-generated information website Wikipedia), compared with a high of 69% in Finland.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff