New study: UK & US ad blockers want relevant ads

By Rune Werliin, AudienceProject

With about 25% in UK and US blocking ads, there is a need for an answer from the media industry. According to our new study, more relevant ads could be part of the answer

Ad blocking is one of the major challenges for the advertising ecosystem, affecting especially publishers whose business depends on ad revenue. In our study we have detected that 26% in UK and 23% in US use ad blocking on their desktop, while 2% in both UK and US are blocking ads on their mobile.

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But there is reason for optimism. In a study that we will publish in the coming weeks, we see a decrease in the usage of ad blocking in select countries, and in this new study about ad blocking in UK and US we bring suggestions on how to curb the tendency towards ad blocking.

Ad blockers want to avoid irrelevant ads

When looking at why UK and US ad blockers are blocking ads two reasons stand out. First, they find websites more manageable without banners. Among the UK population, 31% point at this as a reason for blocking ads, while this is the case with 34% of the US population. Secondly, they want to avoid offensive and irrelevant ads. In UK and US respectively 31% and 30% state this as a reason for blocking ads.

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The annoyance with irrelevant ads is further supported by the fact that the attitude towards ads among the UK and US ad blockers would be positively affected by more personalized ads.

Among the ad blockers in UK, 34% say that their attitude towards ads would be affected in a positive way if the ads displayed relevant messages, while only 27% would be affected negatively. And in US, ad blockers are even more positive towards personalization. While just 19% would be affected in a negative way, as many as 44% would be affected positively if ads were more regularly displaying relevant messages.

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Serve personalized ads

This is a clear proof that ad blockers are tired of being exposed to ads without any personal relevance – a problem that advertisers and publishers need to address by taking a more data driven approach to advertising making it possible to serve more personalized ads with relevant messages.

The results of this study should rather be seen as an opportunity than a threat. Just as the right editorial content leads to higher engagement, more relevant ads leads to higher engagement and greater acceptance of the commercial content. Applying demographic data to online campaigns will decrease the number of irrelevant ads significantly resulting in less users being annoyed and more users going to uninstall their ad blockers.

Get further insights

In the study below you will find further insights on ad blocking in UK and US. Enjoy!

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