Kantar Media's DIMENSION report, based on interviews with 5,213 connected adults and 40 industry leaders across five markets, suggested that an inability to gauge impact and effectiveness is a major concern for communications planning.
What's more, over-targeting could push away consumers who generally have no problem with advertising. In the UK, 68% of respondents hold either a favourable or a neutral view of advertising, but over-targeting threatens to undo much of this work.
The study found that 74% of consumers claim to have been shown the same ads multiple times. Just under half said that the ads served to them on websites are not relevant to them.
"The UK's advertising industry has a significant challenge to address in the coming months and years," said Richard Poustie, CEO, UK & Ireland at Kantar Media.
"We know that, by and large, people are not inherently opposed to advertising, but of the consumers we surveyed those in more developed advertising markets tended to be the most cynical.
"What's missing is a common currency that connects what brands want to achieve with what consumers want to see," he said.
Meanwhile, the debate over the Facebook/Google duopoly has prompted industry figures to question whether an agreed metric among Twitter, Snapchat, and Pinterest would aid trust in digital media owners.
Ian Schafer, founder and chairman of Deep Focus, told Adweek that an agreed metric "would go a long way towards trust and partnership, which would ultimately make it easier to spend on the platforms."
However, the "dream of data uniformity is a distraction from the more pressing issue" , according to Kevin Lange, SVP of platforms at Engine Media, who argued that "non-uniformity can be managed".
"If we can't trust that a platform-reported, three-second view correctly indicates an ad viewed for three seconds, how do we even begin to value it?" he asked. "Once trust is lost, the whole system is at risk of collapse."
Data sourced from Kantar Media, Adweek; additional content by WARC staff