Of men and millennials
Demographically, the survey found that men and millennials are most likely to use ad blockers. Men are 48 percent more likely than women to block ads, and 41 percent of respondents aged 18 to 29 reported using the software. "This shows a generational mindset shift," Giusto says, pointing out that young people will likely continue their ad-avoidance behavior as they grow in buying power and influence — a serious problem for the advertising industry in the future.
The Adobe/PageFair study drilled down to see which types of advertising ad-blocking consumers found most and least acceptable. Two-thirds of consumers using ad blockers were willing to view display ads with text and/or still images, but display ads with audio, non-skippable ads within videos (mid-roll) and popovers were the most unpopular, with 78 percent, 81 percent and 83 percent, respectively, reporting they were "completely unwilling" to view them.
"There have always been and always will be annoying ads; the irony is that they sometimes work," points out Andrew Frank, vice president-distinguished analyst at Gartner. "Changes in consumer behavior are already forcing ad agencies to evolve and consider new approaches to engaging consumers with compelling content," he says, adding that the use of data in decision-making will enable agencies to respond effectively whenever their target audiences are not engaging with their advertising.
While Frank does not expect ad blocking, by itself, to have much effect on the performance of advertisers or agencies, "the larger trend of ad avoidance may be cause for concern."
(This article first appeared on CampaignLive.com)