With consumers empowered by the Internet, brands are under more scrutiny than ever. A recent survey confirms it is now more difficult for brands to establish trust via advertising. In fact, one third of the survey respondents said that they donít trust advertising to provide needed information about a product or service that they are interested in buying.

More than two thirds of the respondents said that they prefer recommendations from friends and family compared to online advertising. Many apparently feel that advertisers tend to emphasize their most positive features, while burying negative aspects of the product or service.

The Internet is changing customer expectations and challenging brands to adapt higher standards of transparency and credibility. Augmenting advertising efforts with media relations campaigns deliver trusted reviews from credible third-party news sources - that consumers will actually believe - would be worthwhile for marketers to consider.