Indonesia is highly responsive and sensitive to the quality of content environments and the corresponding ads seen, according to a study by Integral Ad Science (IAS).

The digital ad verification company polled more than 4750 people across eight markets – including Japan, Indonesia and Singapore in Asia – for its Ripple Effect Online Survey and found that 73% of Indonesians were likely to engage with ads on high quality content, followed by Singapore (66%), with Japan at 51%.

In addition, the content and environments in which an ad is experienced had a significant effect on consumer perception.

About 90% of respondents from Indonesia reported being annoyed when ads appear next to low quality content, while in Singapore it was 88% and 87% for Japan.

Low-quality content environments resulted in a negative perception hit on the brand. In Singapore, 49% of respondents said they would feel less favourable towards brands whose ads appear next to low-quality content, while the percentage stood at 42% for Indonesia and 32% for Japan.

More importantly, across the eight markets measured, Indonesia had the most decisive consumers, with 79% reporting that they will stop using brands that appear alongside low-quality content. In Japan it was 65% of consumers compared to Singapore’s 63%.

The study also found that consumers hold brands accountable for the content surrounding their ads, so brands need to be more aware and take control of where their ads are appearing. Once again, Indonesia ranked the highest with 86% holding brands accountable, followed by Singapore (68%) and Japan (66%).

People are “voting with their feet”, Tony Marlow, chief marketing officer for IAS told Campaign Asia-Pacific, adding that it was important for advertisers to think in terms of “suitability” as well as safety when appearing online, and to be clear on their brand identity.

But defining a “low quality” environment is not always easy as it’s ultimately a question of user perception. Marlow noted that positioning “exists in the mind of the target audience” who are annoyed when they see a “mismatch in context”, such as the brand appearing somewhere they see as unbefitting of its values.

“The consumer is not thinking about all the players in the ecosystem,” Marlow said. “They don’t blame the publisher when an ad turns up in an incongruent environment, which is logical, but it’s easy for marketers to forget how a consumer might react.”

Sourced from Integral Ad Science, Campaign Asia-Pacific; additional content by WARC staff