The most annoying type of online advertisements

The general belief amongst most media buyers is that the more prominent an advertisement is, then the better the ad will be. However, new research seems to indicate a contradictory effect in that consumers hate bigger, bolder ads just as much as media buyers love them.

So which kinds of ads create the most consumer frustration?

To find out the answer, the digital ad platform provider Respond conducted a survey of more than 1,000 UK consumers. The results found that the following type of online advertisements were the most annoying:

  • Video ads that automatically play while the page is loading were considered the most annoying format, with nearly three-quarters of respondents indicating that these were irritating.
  • Pop-ups and pop-unders were the second and third most annoying ad formats, with 69% and 56% of those polled, respectively, saying that these were an annoyance.
  • With 52% and 38% of respondents, respectively, calling them irritants, expanding ads and in-content ads that appear when a user hovers over a word rounded out the five worst ad formats from the consumer perspective.

Another interesting finding from the research was that over a third of survey participants (37%) have a high standard, stating that ads they deem irrelevant are a complete turn-off.

Not surprisingly, the most annoying ads are likely to grab a user’s attention, which is why media buyers are willing to pay a premium for them. However, site owners and publishers need to take care when trying to balance advertising revenue over attracting loyal users onto their website as 62% of those Respond polled said that they were likely to abandon a page with annoying ads, and 55% went so far as to claim that they would be less likely to return to the offending site altogether.

It seems that whatever the approach or type of advertisement an advertiser decides to take with their online advertising, the most important consideration is that it does not decrease the perceived value of the online experience being offered to the user, otherwise it will be viewed (literary) as annoying.


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