The challenge of ad avoidance

Andrew Ingram

Advertisements are now so numerous that they are very negligently perused.

Dr Johnson, January 1759

As this quote shows, advertising avoidance has been with us for a long time, and is a natural human response to information overload.

Recently, concerns about advertising avoidance have been increasing, as media proliferate and the competition for 'share of eyeball' becomes more intense.

Some useful research into advertising avoidance was carried out by Initiative Media during the mid-1990s. This combined a wide variety of different methods and focused on ways that advertisers could overcome avoidance, mainly of TV advertising. It also assessed avoidance levels for different media, and these are summarised in Figure 1.