Save The Web; 71% of Brits now associate ads with fake news

Rakuten Marketing embarks on mission to ‘Save The Web’ as fake news, pop-up ads and pre-roll video spots tarnish consumer perceptions towards brands

London, UK, June 28, 2017 – 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% of UK consumers now associate ads with fake news as opposed to 54% of French and German respondents and 58% 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% 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

32% of survey respondents admit to using an ad blocker, and 46% 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% more likely to use an ad blocker, 16% more likely to opt out of ads, and 17% more likely to clear their cookies.

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

Tony Zito, CEO, Raktuen 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. 70% of global consumers want advertisers to know that advertising is OK when the ad content is useful to them. 65% 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%) of UK consumers actively follow an online blogger or social influencer and an impressive 84% 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.”

The full Rakuten Marketing Insights Consumer Online Ad Sentiments results are available here:



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

For more information about Rakuten Marketing and its integrated marketing solutions that deliver clear and actionable insights into consumer experiences, visit

About Rakuten Marketing

Rakuten Marketing is the global leader in integrated marketing solutions, spanning affiliate, display and search. Rakuten Marketing empowers marketers to achieve the full potential of digital marketing by delivering data-driven personalized ad experiences that engage consumers – across screens, platforms and traditional publishers – and influence them to purchase. Rakuten Marketing is committed to transparency, providing consumer journey insights that are used to continually optimize for performance.

Rakuten Marketing is a division of Rakuten Inc. (4755: TOKYO), one of the world’s leading Internet service companies. The company is headquartered in San Mateo, California, with offices in Australia, Brazil, Japan, the United Kingdom, and throughout the United States. Follow us on Twitter or learn more at