Two Intrusive Ads Deemed Appropriate

Twice is just enough for intrusive ads, with pop-ups being among the least welcome, according to Dynamic Logic’s AdReaction Study that measures consumers’ perceptions towards advertising. The December 2003 survey revealed that consumers deemed two intrusive ads per hour were appropriate on free Web sites, while also evaluating reaction to traditional advertising and different online ad formats.

For the most part, consumers agreed with experts, finding intrusive advertising frustrating and annoying. Nearly one-third of Dynamic Logic’s 425 respondents reported that ads that appear over Web content, such as pop-ups, out-of-frame and floating ads, on the pages they are browsing were never appropriate.

The findings were determined through a median number where 50 percent of the population is above that number and 50 percent are below. Based on that calculation, 17.2 percent of respondents indicated that two over-content ads per hour would be an appropriate number to view on a free Web site. Interestingly, 3.3 percent of respondents felt that 10 over-content ads per hour would be appropriate.

Frequency was the biggest complaint consumers had about the intrusive ads, with 70 percent reporting that there were too many over-content messages. Fifty-eight percent were annoyed that they were required to close the ads, and 56 percent were concerned about blocked content.

Survey respondents were more tolerant of banners, skyscrapers and interstitials, while placing pop-ups, pop-unders, and out-of-frame ads among the most negatively perceived forms of online advertising. Rounding out the mid-range were ads with audio, large rectangles or squares, and ads with video.

“It’s interesting to note that when online ads are generalized, pop-us have a negative perception,” said Christina Goodman, marketing manager, Dynamic Logic of the findings.

Among the forms of traditional advertising Dynamic Logic asked survey recipients about, newspaper, magazine, radio, and billboard/outdoor ads generated more positive reactions than Web, opt-in email, and direct mail. Not surprisingly, telemarketing and non-opt-in email, or spam, inspired the most negative results.

The three-part survey included individuals from Dynamic Logic’s database that had previously participated in a study using a Web intercept model that utilized pop-ups, possibly influencing the results. “Participants for the AdReaction study were recruited via email, taken from a database of individuals who filled out an online survey in the last four years,” Goodman clarified.

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