Save The Web; most of Brits now associate ads with fake news

New research finds that British consumers are far more likely to associate ads with fake news when compared to their European or American counterparts.

A new study of over 2,500 consumers released today be the leader in integrated marketing solutions, Rakuten Marketing, finds British consumers are far more likely to associate ads with fake news than their European or American counterparts.

As David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker, took to the stage at Cannes Lions to discuss how brands can retain trust in the era of untruth, Rakuten Marketing’s latest insights report reveals 71 per cent of UK consumers now associate ads with fake news as opposed to 54 per cent of French and German respondents and 58 per cent of Americans.

According to the report, Consumer Online Ad Sentiments: What Needs to Change About Online Advertising, most consumers believe online advertising has stayed static or indeed worsened over time. Today, 83 per cent of global consumers say online advertising interrupts their online experience, particularly ads that pop-up and cover content, pre-roll video ads, and ads that are delivered through push notifications.

Ad depreciation

A third (32 per cent) of survey respondents admit to using an ad blocker, and 46 per cent proactively opt out of ads in other ways. Men are more likely than women to take a proactive action to block an ad; they are 41 per cent more likely to use an ad blocker, 16 per cent more likely to opt out of ads, and 17 per cent more likely to clear their cookies.

Intriguingly, it is actually 43 per cent of Americans that quote themselves as having had a bad experience with an online ad, as opposed to just 25 per cent of UK consumers. Because of a bad ad experience, 45 per cent of consumers will abandon a site and 28 per cent will avoid the site altogether. A quarter (26 per cent) will clear their cookies to stop receiving ads from a brand, and 19 per cent will avoid brands they associate with bad advertising practices.

Tony Zito, CEO, Rakuten Marketing comments, ‘The findings from this research revealed important data on the current state of consumer sentiments about online advertising. Access to free content online is one of the most valuable propositions the internet offers, but the advertising that funds it needs to get better.

‘At Rakuten Marketing, all of the investments we make are towards better understanding the advertising that meaningfully influences consumers, so we can improve overall performance, and solve this problem.’

Is it too late?

Not all consumer sentiment about online advertising is negative, according to the report. Nearly three quarters (70 per cent) of global consumers want advertisers to know that advertising is OK when the ad content is useful to them. Two thirds (65 per cent) say advertising can be valuable when it aligns with their interests and is more seamlessly integrated into online content.

Many consumers proactively engage with certain advertising channels that are personalised to their likes, lifestyles and interests. For instance, nearly a third (31 per cent) of UK consumers actively follow an online blogger or social influencer and an impressive 84 per cent will seek out coupon codes before making a purchase.

We Can Save The Web

Rakuten Marketing is taking action on these findings by launching a leadership movement to Save the Web. The goal is to promote greater transparency, create more meaningful consumer engagement, decrease ad blocking, and increase revenue opportunities.

Zito explains, ‘Through this initiative, Rakuten Marketing will help advertisers and publishers create positive ad experiences by providing insights, technology and strategies that better reflect the relationships consumers want to have with their brands.’

Further reading on online ads

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

Related Topics


Leave a comment