MUNICH: The majority of German consumers understand the central role played by advertising in supporting free online content, a new survey has revealed.

TNS Infratest, the research firm, polled 756 web users in the country to gain an understanding of their attitudes in this area.

Overall, it found that 89.9% of respondents recognised that ads had a central part to play in funding non-subscription sites they visited regularly.

By contrast, only 8.7% of contributors would be willing to pay a fee in order to access the same websites if it meant they contained no brand messages, the study stated.

"The results show that banner advertising is accepted, largely because it finances online content," Carsten Theisen, director of the digital centre at TNS, said.

However, Theisen also warned that the popular comprehension of advertising's overall contribution did not necessarily make communications any more influential.

"The overall acceptance rate but says nothing about the actual effect of advertising," Theisen said.

Data sourced from TNS Infratest; additional content by Warc staff