This week, Advertising Age reports results from the Edelman 2010 Trust Barometer, a study that asks people their level of trust in various media messages. Only 25% of people polled consider friends and peers as credible sources of consumer and business information.
Now, I'm also skeptical of research that asks people to self-report their feelings. Such “research” often tells you much about respondents’ self-concept, and little about anything else. However, when this same study was done two years ago, that number was 45%. The decline gives pause, self-reporting notwithstanding.
Perhaps marketing’s attempt to institutionalize word-of-mouth advertising has robbed it of its very power.