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Half APAC internet users block ads

News, 05 April 2016

SYDNEY: Half of all internet users in Asia Pacific are actively using ad-blockers or intend to install one in the near future, a new survey reveals.

Though Asian markets are generally considered more receptive to direct advertising than Western markets, the survey by inbound marketing company Hubspot revealed that internet users in the region are increasingly hostile to online advertising in particular.

Generally, ad platforms which do not directly disrupt a user's browsing experience were more likely to be accepted by consumers. But respondents were hugely negative about pop-up ads and auto-play in particular.

More than half of those surveyed had an "extremely negative reaction" to pop-up online advertisements and 75% of people said they had an "extremely negative" or "somewhat negative" experience with auto-playing video advertisement. More than 80% of Asia Pacific consumers have closed a browser or exited a website because of an auto-playing ad or a pop-up.

Only telemarketing calls ranked more negatively in sentiment.

A key concern for brands will be the increasingly popularity of ad blockers across the region. Consumers simply no longer tolerate pop-up ads and are taking steps to actively avoid them. Millennials are most likely to use ad blockers, though they are popular across all demographics.

Though none of the advertising platforms surveyed garnered a positive response, views on some were more neutral than others. Consumers prefer advertising where they can control their exposure, such as email newsletter and email advertising which is subscription based. More than half (54%) of respondents had a positive perception of these types of ads.

But more is not necessarily better when it comes to email communication from brands: 96% of those surveyed said they had unsubscribed from marketing emails, with "too many emails" cited as the main reason.

Native advertising – which is largely undetected by current ad blockers – may be the way forward for the region's marketers. Facebook ads presented in-feed were not perceived as negatively as other disruptive techniques.

Data sourced from Hubspot, B&T Magazine; additional content by Warc staff