LONDON: Around one in five UK mobile users has installed a mobile ad blocker in the past two months but almost half aren't even aware of the concept and most simply avoid ads they find irritating.

Instantly, a provider of audiences and insights tools, polled 984 people in the UK in a mobile survey to explore consumer perceptions around mobile ad blockers and found that just 47% had head of them.

But more than half (55%) of respondents said they found mobile ads generally annoying and disruptive and chose to skip or ignore them.

Half (50%) said they had never clicked on mobile banner ads, while 55% always skipped ads on YouTube.

This might suggest that consumers have found a way of dealing with the matter and that "industry concerns around consumer attitudes [to ad blocking] are perhaps premature," the report stated.

But 18% of respondents had installed an ad blocker in the last two months and 39% said they would install one if it was offered to them, although half would only do so if it wasn't too complicated.

Instantly's take on this was that, once educated about the topic, some consumers would look to make their content ad free, but, it added, most aren't willing to pay for that option.

The survey found that only 16% of respondents were generally willing to pay; and out of this small group a majority of 75% would only pay £1-2 for ad-free content.

"Ad blocking is currently being discussed in the news on a daily basis, but all the stories are focusing on the media itself and not the consumers," said Ben Leet, UK MD of Instantly.

Consumers are ready to click on an ad, however, when the offered service met their immediate need (52% of respondents), when it offered a good image (30%) or a humorous approach (23%).

Leet argued that simple implementation tweaks and the use of programmatic advertising would help increase click rates and decrease the perceived need for ad blockers.

"When messaged correctly, programmatic advertising will be favoured by consumers as well as media buyers," he said.

Data sourced from Instantly; additional content by Warc staff