What Are Fake Adverts and Why Do Entrepreneurs Need to Be Aware of Them

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Living in a digital age where we can easily communicate, learn, and work online can be convenient. However, for many who rely on the Internet for getting products, services, and information, the threat of fake news and advertising is ever-present. Data on fake news from Newsworks show that over eight in ten people in the UK come across fake news in their day-to-day lives. Similarly, 52% of people admit they have been deceived by fake news at least once.

While Newsworks emphasises the importance of recognising and fighting fake news due to its political consequences, intentionally false information can also significantly impact your business as an entrepreneur — regardless of what products or services you offer. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what fake advertising is and why entrepreneurs need to be aware of it.

What are fake adverts?

Fake advertising uses techniques like clickbait to drive traffic to your business or online content. Unfortunately, the problem with fake adverts is that they are easy and cheap to make, which means they can be spread far and wide. Insights from digital marketing agency Ayima on fake advertising indicate that three in four people overestimate their ability to spot fake news. Another 2021 study found that 15% of people had fallen victim to a scam advert and reported it. However, consumers have become increasingly aware of the increase in fake adverts in recent years.

It’s important to note that digital advertising is an effective way of building brand awareness and loyalty. However, it’s crucial to prioritise disseminating authentic and accurate information when advertising your products and services. Even though consumers are becoming more diligent, entrepreneurs should also do their part in fostering trust through their online ads and content. Below, we’ll explore why fake news awareness is vital for entrepreneurs:

Forming a good relationship with clients and customers

An essential aspect of advertising as an entrepreneur is that it can significantly impact how potential clients and customers perceive your brand or business. In this age of the Internet, people actively seek information about products and services they need, so investing in false or misleading advertising can establish a negative relationship with them. In a past post on what makes “A Good Relationship”, we highlighted the importance of being authentic to ourselves. This isn’t advice exclusively for romantic relationships — it’s just as true for business relationships.

Like starting any other personal relationship, when we start a business relationship, we focus on how we engage with them and how they respond to us. As entrepreneurs trying to advertise your products or services, getting started on the right foot is vital. Recognising and avoiding fake advertising will go a long way in establishing trust and loyalty with your clients and customers.

Prioritising cybersecurity for everyone involved

Finally, aside from fake advertising, another common issue about living in the digital age is the number of cybersecurity threats that await us. Ignoring fake advertising opens doors for other malicious activities, such as fraud and identity theft. According to a Wired piece on bots and advertising, fake online users make up as much as 40% of all web traffic. Fake online users, like fake advertising, may make your numbers look good but is detrimental to your venture in the long term. Working with inflated numbers can be disastrous for any small business trying to make it, as it may impact your decision-making.

Additionally, proactively preventing the spread of fake news and advertising doesn’t only protect your business. It also protects your existing and future customers, which lets them know you prioritise their safety and digital security in mind. This, in turn, cultivates trust and will encourage them to do more business with you and possibly even recommend you to more potential customers and clients.

Article written by Roan Jennings

Roan is a freelance writer with a passion for finance and entrepreneurship. She believes financial literacy should be accessible to all. When she’s not working, you can find Roan golfing or spending time with her two cats, Daisy and Cleo.

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