Ad-blocking software poses challenge to advertisers, brands and publishers

November 18, 2015, 12:30 PM GMT+0

At a recent YouGov event we presented some new research about online advertising highlighting the challenges the increasing use of ad blocking software poses to brands and publishers and creative agencies.

Self-playing videos and pop-up ads have given the medium a bad name among consumers, and one in five (20%) of us uses the software – up about five percentage points from earlier in the year. This figure increases to 40% among 18-24 year olds. These numbers chime with other research we have done for the IAB.

YouGov research shows that people want to shut out adverts for two broad reasons. First, they find online ads "annoying" (80%). Second, because they often make using the device harder and that ad-blocking reduces visual clutter and speeds up browsing.

However, consumers recognise the role advertising plays in allowing sites to exist and flourish. More than three-quarters (77%) of consumers understand that publishers need advertising revenue to exist and six in ten don’t mind online ads as they mean that websites can continue to be free.

YouGov’s findings show that while people are prepared to receive advertising in order to get content for free, the advertising has to be relevant, interesting and done in an unobtrusive way. Yet, currently, only 12% say they find online advertising useful and informative.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Consumers respond well to good advertising that is relevant to them. When advertising is done right and is interesting, informative and relevant, it is still the best way for brands to communicate with consumers.

Ultimately, it is in the interests of all parties – publishers, brands, agencies and the public – to make ads hit home. Doing so will mean advertisers can better engage with audiences, allowing consumers to consume content for free and publishers to continue publishing.

More information about YouGov's Digital, Media and Technology research

This article originally appeared in City A.M.

Image from PA