Online Control in the era of Ad Blocking

Ipsos was engaged by Facebook to conduct multi-method, multi-market research to understand more about ad blocking and personalisation expectations among consumers.

Online Control in the era of Ad Blocking

The author(s)

  • Adam Isaacson Ipsos Connect, UK
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Ad blocking has become one of the challenges of the day for online publishers with their ease of access and growth in popularity. The discussion around how best to deal with the challenges publishers face remains an ongoing one. Additionally, consumers can be driven to use ad blockers in an attempt to improve their online ad experience.

Ipsos was engaged by Facebook to conduct multi-method, multi-market research to understand more about ad blocking and personalisation expectations among consumers.

We surveyed the UK, US, France, Germany, Brazil and India to examine attitudes about ad blocking generally, looking more specifically at why consumers block ads and what publishers and advertisers can do to address consumers’ concerns.

We know usage of ad blocking software is growing, with a sizeable minority claiming to use it worldwide. Reported usage of ad blocking is highest in Germany and France, followed by the US. Lower claimed usage in Brazil and India links back to the fact that these two emerging markets have a more open relationship with online advertising in the survey.

The rise of ad blocking is a clear signal to the ad industry that consumers are dissatisfied with their current experiences. The main reasons cited for using ad blockers include avoiding disruptive ads (69%), ads that slow down their browsing experience (58%) and security / malware risks (56%). In general, younger consumers are more open to online advertising and data collection. But across the board, if consumers are going to see ads, they prefer them to be personalized and relevant.

While people want a personalized online experience, they dislike ads that are disruptive, however personalised. Those that block the content on the page, that pop up with sound and that slow the content on the page were all seen to be disruptive by our qualitative sample.

Across ages and geographies, consumers want more control over ads online, and agree that increased control will improve their online experience. For instance, eight in 10 people (79%) agree that they should be able to opt out of seeing ads on specific topics (e.g. Football or Politics) if they want to. Providing additional controls to people can be a way of providing them with a positive, personalized esperience while also building trust.

Technical Note

Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 2,000 online adults aged 16+ across UK, Germany, France, US, Brazil and India. Interviews were conducted online between 11th March and 18th March 2016. In Brazil and India there was a boost of, respectively, 317 and 114 non-Facebook users and all data was weighted to be representative of the online population aged 16+ in that market. Additional qualitative focus groups were run in the UK (London), the US (Chicago) and France (Paris).

The author(s)

  • Adam Isaacson Ipsos Connect, UK

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