Brands to blame for online woes, not ad tech

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 12 May 2017

Escalating and negative consumer attitude towards online advertising, which is costing brands an estimated $20 billion in adblocking annually, must end says Rakuten Marketing.

The data-driven performance marketing business, which is headed up locally by Anthony Capano, says while the last 20 years have marked outstanding innovation in ad tech, the industry has failed to modernise the way advertising is measured to match the complexity of today’s consumer journeys.

The firm says at present, the marketing industry peppers the web with digital ads with one-dimensional marketing metrics versus ads that deliver meaningful consumer experiences. The result is an escalating loss in e-commerce revenues and a waning of consumer engagement, with nearly half (45%) of consumers having proactively opted out of an online ad.

It adds that furthermore, there is a struggle for consumers to differentiate between legitimate and fake news, with 58% of consumers associating online advertising with “other disruptive content”.

The stats come off the back of a global survey it carried out of 2,500 people.

The commissioned research looked at insights and habits throughout Australia, the UK, the US, France and Germany. In terms of local statistics, 500 consumers were surveyed in Australia aged 18+.

Following the study Rakuten Marketing will soon launch a SaveTheWeb website where brands and consumers will be invited to 'have their say'. The website will launch in Australia first, with global markets to follow. 

Brands are to blame

Consumers surveyed also said advertisers and brands have the most responsibility in improving online ad experiences, even though it is the tech companies that are responsible for ad placement.

It found that globally, most consumers think websites are responsible for improving online advertising experiences (48%), followed by advertisers (36%) and advertising technology companies (16%).

Capano says through market education, “highly proactive industry participation and innovative thought-leadership”, Rakuten Marketing is working to narrow the brand/publisher/consumer engagement gap and improve brand, publisher and consumer relationships in order to drive revenue growth.

Capano tells AdNews: “Consumers are demanding better advertising experiences and it would be remiss of Australian marketers to not pay attention and take action.

“Our research highlights that 70% of Australians are being served ads after they’ve already purchased a product. It is a simple example which frustrates consumers and the positive is that there is technology out there to remedy this issue as well as other industry challenges such as brand safety, transparency and personalisation.

“If marketers continue to ignore investing in these solutions that enhance online experiences, the relationship between consumers and publishers and more importantly consumers and brands, will be placed in jeopardy.”

It must improve

Global CEO of Raktuen Marketing, Tony Zito, says free online content is funded by ads, but consumers “absolutely demand online advertising be better”.

“Consumers do not want to pay for internet content either,” Zito says.

“We are at the cross-section between brands and publishers and the consumers they serve and feel a movement like ‘SaveTheWeb’ is imperative to educate, re-align and support all party interests,” Zito says.

Supporting today’s announcement, Rakuten Marketing says it's committed to guide brands and publishers towards more propitious engagement with online consumers using adblockers.

“Change is imperative in the current environment and we are excited to drive the education, communication and action needed to cut across red tape between consumers and marketers in support of a thriving, enjoyable and ad-supporting web,” Zito says.

The campaign is being launched in Australia first. Once it is launched globally, the The SaveTheWeb website will go live.

Want more on Rakuten?

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