Consumers now associate online advertising with fake news

by | Jun 26, 2017 | Marketing, Public Relations

New research from tech marketing firm Rakuten Marketing reveals global consumers’ attitudes about online advertising, including their annoyance with ad frequency and their desire for better ad personalization—both of which contribute to the low tolerance of advertising that has cost $22 billion in revenue from ad blocking.

The agency recently released its latest Insights reportConsumer Online Ad Sentiments: What Needs to Change About Online Advertising.

Rakuten Consumers now associate online advertising with fake news

Advertising interrupts online experiences, consumers say

Over the last 20 years there has been outstanding innovation in ad tech, but, according to the survey, most consumers believe online advertising has stayed static or gotten worse over time. The majority of consumers (82 percent) also say that too much advertising interrupts their online experiences, particularly ads that pop-up and cover content, pre-roll video ads, and ads that are delivered through push notification.

Frequency is also an issue for consumers—56 percent have felt that a single brand was advertising to them too frequently. Perhaps most troubling is that 67 percent of consumers associate online advertising with other disruptive content, including fake news.

U.S. consumer findings include:

  • 69 percent of consumers say online advertising needs to change.
  • 50 percent proactively ‘opt-out’ of online ads.
  • 40 percent abandon websites because of bad ad experiences.
  • 48 percent believe websites are responsible for improving online experiences, followed closely by 36 percent who believe the responsibility lies with brands—which means advertisers and publishers need to be aligned on solving this problem to protect their online revenue opportunity.

Rakuten Consumers now associate online advertising with fake news

“The findings from this research revealed important data on the current state of consumer sentiments about online advertising,” said Tony Zito, CEO of Rakuten Marketing, in a news release. “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.”

Consumers like advertising that is helpful and personalized

Not all consumer sentiment about online advertising is negative, according to the report. Seventy percent of consumers polled recognize that advertising can enhance their shopping experience when it connects them to more options and better discounts. Many consumers proactively engage with certain native ad experiences, and prefer advertising that is personalized to their likes, lifestyles and interests.

Rakuten Consumers now associate online advertising with fake news

U.S. consumer findings include:

  • 57 percent of consumers follow an online blogger or social influencer.
  • 88 percent of those who follow an influencer have made a purchase the influencer recommended.
  • Nearly 90 percent seek out discount codes on voucher/coupon sites before making a purchase.

The key takeaway: 81 percent of U.S. consumers want brands to know that advertising is acceptable when the ad content is useful and doesn’t interrupt their online experience.

We can save the web

Rakuten save the web

The firm is taking action on these findings by launching a leadership movement to Save the Web. Through this initiative, Rakuten is challenging the industry to improve brand, publisher and consumer relationships by increasing the amount of good advertising that brings value to consumers, without the disruption. The goal is to promote greater transparency, create more meaningful consumer engagement, decrease ad blocking, and increase revenue opportunities.

Zito continued, “Rakuten Marketing operates at the cross-section between brands and publishers and the consumers they serve, making us uniquely positioned to lead an industry change that unifies their interests. We are passionate about driving the education, communication and action needed to create a more positive and profitable web.”

Read the complete report here.

The survey was completed by more than 2,500 global consumers who responded to an online questionnaire distributed by third-party research company, Qualtircs. The questionnaires were completed between April 17-21, 2017. Follow Save The Web on Facebook to get ongoing updates, insights and news about consumers’ relationships with online advertising.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter


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