Britons find digital ads annoying

13 June 2013
LONDON: Over half of UK consumers say online adverts are invasive, distracting and annoying and a multinational survey has found that the adverts are even less popular in France and Germany.

A survey for Adobe, the Californian software maker, of over 3,000 consumers across the three countries found that 62% of Britons surveyed found digital ads "annoying", while 45% found them "invasive" and 44% "distracting", Campaign Live reports.

The report, called 'Click Here: State of Online Advertising', found that 70% of Britons believed that television advertising remains more important than the online variety, but despite this web ads were in the top three for preferred means of advertising, and this was the case only in the UK amongst the countries surveyed.

In Britain, 39% favoured print advertising, 23% television and 12% websites. This compared to France, where 31% preferred print, 24% billboards and 23% television. In Germany, these figures were 28% for print ads, 23% billboards and 21% window displays.

"Some digital advertising is failing to hit the mark," said Mark Phibbs, vice president of marketing for EMEA at Adobe. "While digital provides great promise, often it is not being delivered in an emotionally compelling or targeted way," he added.

Adobe's report highlighted that the crucial factor in advertising is content, with 68% of Britons believing they should tell a unique story. John Lewis and Guinness were among the most highly praised ads in the survey.

Humour was also described as crucial by 92%, who believed this was a more effective tool than providing ads that were "sexy".

"We think online advertising can learn from traditional advertising in three ways," said Phibbs. "Is it beautiful and eye-catching? Is it integrated? Do consumers have control over it?"

Finally, asked about social media, 49% of those surveyed said that they would favour seeing a "dislike" option for a brand, while 76% argued that ads targeted on online behaviour could be disturbing.

Data sourced from Campaign Live: additional content by Warc staff
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