With “fake news” still a scourge of the open web, most Brits (71%) now associate it with advertising, according to Rakuten Marketing, more so than their US (58%) and German (54%) counterparts.

Fake news, pre-roll video and pop-up ads all contribute to shoddy user experience for 83% of those surveyed, causing disastrous consequences for brand perception. In a move to put an end to it, Rakuten Marketing is launching a new campaign, ‘Save the Web’.

The company will work to champion transparency and more meaningful consumer engagement while bringing ad blocking numbers down and growing revenue opportunities. This aims to create “positive ad experience” as explained by the group’s CEO, Tony Zito, “by providing insights, technology and strategies that better reflect the relationships consumers want to have with their brands.”

Time to change

Rakuten Marketing’s survey of over 2,500 consumers has also revealed, intriguingly, more Americans than British users have had a bad experience with an online ad (43% and 25% respectively). Regardless of the country, however, those experiences create a strong reaction. Almost half of users (45%) abandon a site, 28% will avoid it altogether and almost as many (26%) will also clear their cookies to stop receiving ads from a brand. Once consumers associate a brand with bad advertising practice, 19% will avoid it.

Fighting their own battles against bad advertising, users have also shared that they tend to out of ads either through ad blockers (32%) or other solutions (46%), with a significant gender split as men are as much as 41% more likely to use ad blockers than women.

Despite the general lack of enthusiasm towards online advertising, however, over two-thirds (70%) of consumers globally do actually want advertisers to know ads are fine as long as they add value – 65% of the surveyed are ok with advertising if it’s relevant to their interests and seamlessly integrated into the content they consume.

What’s more, users don’t disregard all types of ads; many (31%) actively follow online bloggers or social influencers and most (84%) seek coupons and codes before purchasing goods online.

Rakuten Marketing’s initiative is one of many efforts to improve online advertising, as the recently-launched Coalition for Better Brands has published a set of new standards to improve advertising experience and IAB UK developed LEAN advertising standards to promote better ad experience.

“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,” commented Zito.