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Ad blocker users don't blame brands for annoying ads

News, 14 June 2017
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GLOBAL: Ad block users apportion a lower share of the blame towards brands than regular users if they see ads on websites, blaming instead the blocking software, according to a new report.

The findings are part of a research collaboration between the UK advertisers body ISBA, the Advertising Research Foundation, and PageFair, which studied responses from 2,300 participants shown LEAN display format ads (Light, Encrypted, Ad choice supported, Non-invasive ads.)

Designed to test the reactions to ads that adhere to the Coalition for Better Ads initial standards –and address ad block users' legitimate concerns around UX, bandwidth, and security– the findings are important, as global ad block usage has now surpassed 615 billion devices.

Of the people who reacted negatively to seeing an ad, the study revealed that ad block users are significantly less likely to blame the brand than regular users.

The figures suggest that the added layer of ad blocking software swallows up the largest portion of blame, as 40% blame the software when they are bothered by an ad. Just 14% blame the brand, and 28% blame the website.

For regular users, 43% consider the website to be at fault for bothersome ads. Yet together, both groups reveal that people bothered by seeing an ad are likely to blame the brand less than any other party.

Elsewhere the study finds that ad block and regular users display relatively similar attitudes toward brands, with both showing virtually identical levels of satisfaction when viewing a page with standard ads. This suggests, according to the study, that most people install ad blockers to protect themselves from the very worst web experiences.

The news comes as Facebook claims its 20% YOY revenue growth in the last three quarters was thanks to the addition of unblockable ads last August, Mediatel reported.

With both Google and Apple announcing plans to introduce their own ad blocking features into their browsers, the impact on advertising standards could be huge, with the potential to change the way the web works.

Data sourced from PageFair, Mediatel; additional content by WARC staff

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