WARSAW: The banner ad may be dying on its feet as irate internet users increasingly turn to ad blocking software but the consequences can be positive for the market, an industry figure has said.

Research from Polish agency MEC Wavemaker, based on a survey of 1,000 Polish internet users, has found that more than one third (36%) block ads at least some of the time, while around half of those are using whitelists or some other form of filter to allow certain advertising formats.

The primary reason for using ad blocking software has little to do with privacy and everything to do with the volume of ads and their impact on the user experience, whether loading times or simply being able to see content.

The most frustrating types of ads according to Polish ad blockers are full-screen ads and banners that are a challenge to close. But six in ten would be prepared to uninstall their blockers if the number of online ads decreased.

Publishers blocking content was also likely to provoke a response among 45%, but not an appeal to their better nature, as only 18% were moved by the thought that their favourite websites might be losing their source of income.

Maciej Maciejewski, head of MEC Wavemaker, noted that three quarters of Polish ad blockers used Facebook while a similar share shopped online. Further, close to 60% read forums and over 40% followed blogs.

"Audiences unreachable through an ad banner are now attainable otherwise," he stated.

"Ad blockers forced the industry to review its invasive outreach methods and I think this also has consequences which are positive for the market," he added.

A similar message came from the WFA earlier this week as it responded to the latest figures on mobile adblocking produced by PageFair. "We get the message loud and clear; we must listen to what people are saying and take action," said CEO Stephan Loerke.

WFA president David Wheldon added that "the industry needs to reflect on the rise of adblocking.

"Advertising has always been cultural wallpaper and we have a duty of care to make it as attractive and engaging as possible so that people enjoy it, not want to shut it out," he said.

Data sourced from MEC, WFA; additional content by Warc staff