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Over half of people believe they’ve been tricked into believing fake news

Marketing body, Newsworks, today launches independent research* revealing that 79% of UK consumers are concerned about fake news. Further, only a quarter surveyed feel confident in their own ability to spot fake news and 54% believe that they have been tricked into believing news that later turned out to be fake. 

The research examines consumer feelings about fake news, the levels of trust they place in different sources of news and the benefits for brands of advertising in news brands. It is launched alongside Newsworks’ latest report ‘Fact not fake: the power of news brands. How advertisers can leverage the legacy of trust in established news brands. 

To combat these concerns, news brands are regularly used as a fact-checking source across all demographics, with 74% of those who expressed an opinion saying they would turn to newspaper websites or apps to verify stories they read on social media. Interestingly, among 16-34s, this is even higher, 78% regularly turn to established news brands to verify the truth of the content they see elsewhere.

The feeling of trust the majority of the UK public feel towards news brands is deep-rooted and influential. When shown genuine news headlines on news brand sites compared to genuine news headlines on non-news brands sites, people were almost 50% more likely to believe the headlines on the news brand sites. 

The perceived quality of brands is 1.6x higher when consumers see them advertised in a news brand versus a non-news brand. This suggests that advertising in a news brand helps to reduce the negative forces that act as a drag on brand trust. Consumers are 30% less likely to question the competence of the brand when it advertises in a news brand and are 20% less likely to perceive buying or using a brand as a risk when it advertises in a news brand.

Newsworks chief executive, Jo Allan, said “Increasingly people are becoming aware of the spread of fake news and misinformation and the pitfalls around social media. Our research has shown news brands deliver incredibly strong business effects for advertisers, either directly or by enhancing other media. And what’s clear is that news brands have a massive role to play for marketers.”

Newsworks’ latest report ‘Fact not fake: The Power of News Brands. How advertisers can leverage the legacy of trust in established news brands’ can be downloaded here.  

*The power of news brands, in conjunction with Differentology, took place last summer and was a large-scale online survey of 3000 16+ nationally representative adults in the UK. Trust, more than a feeling, in conjunction with Map the Territory and Tapestry Research, was in part an online lab test among 4800 adults to measure how trust in a brand builds when advertised in a news brand vs a non-news brand (aggregated results across five different types of brand).

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