71% of Brits conflate advertising with fake news

71% of Britons conflate advertising with fake news

The insidious rise of so-called fake news is now having repercussions beyond journalism with advertising now bearing the brunt of a public backlash - with 71% of Britons now conflating adverts with fake news according to a new study.

Research commissioned by Rakuten Marketing reveals that Brits lead the way when it comes to campaign skepticism in comparison with their cousins in Europe and the US, where the comparative figures sit at 54% and 58% respectively. However, the proportion of consumers saying they had been negatively impacted by an online ad stood at 43% in the US – versus just 25% in the UK.

Consumer brand perception has been on a downward spiral in tandem with the rise of not just fake news but also pop-up ads and pre-roll video spots – all of which disrupt the internet browsing experience.

In a bid to delve deeper into these trends Rakuten found that 32% of its respondents now resort to use of ad blockers while 46% proactively exercise their opt-out rights to ads in other ways.

Tony Zito, chief executive, Rakuten Marketing stated, “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.”

It wasn’t all one-way traffic however with 70% of global consumers letting it be known that they positively welcome advertising when it is of relevance to them while 31% of UK bloggers now actively follow an online blogger or social influencer.

Rakuten's study was compiled from the responses of 2,500 consumers. A separate report compiled by KPMG, recently found that half of UK consumers are now concerned about the impact of fake news.

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