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Online Control in the era of Ad Blocking

Adam Isaacson, Ipsos Connect

Ad blocking has become one of the challenges of the day for online publishers
with their ease of access and growth in popularity. The discussion around how
best to deal with the challenges publishers face remains an ongoing one.
Additionally, consumers can be driven to use ad blockers in an attempt to improve
their online ad experience.
Ipsos was engaged by Facebook to conduct multi-method, multi-market research
to understand more about ad blocking and personalisation expectations among
We surveyed the UK, US, France, Germany, Brazil and India to examine attitudes
about ad blocking generally, looking more specifically at why consumers block ads
and what publishers and advertisers can do to address consumers concerns.
We know usage of ad blocking software is growing, with a sizeable minority
claiming to use it worldwide. Reported usage of ad blocking is highest in Germany
and France, followed by the US. Lower claimed usage in Brazil and India links
back to the fact that these two emerging markets have a more open relationship
with online advertising in the survey.
The rise of ad blocking is a clear signal to the ad industry that consumers are
dissatisfied with their current experiences. The main reasons cited for using ad
blockers include avoiding disruptive ads (69%), ads that slow down their browsing
experience (58%) and security / malware risks (56%). In general, younger
consumers are more open to online advertising and data collection. But across the
board, if consumers are going to see ads, they prefer them to be personalized and
While people want a personalized online experience, they dislike ads that are
disruptive, however personalised. Those that block the content on the page, that
pop up with sound and that slow the content on the page were all seen to be
disruptive by our qualitative sample.
Across ages and geographies, consumers want more control over ads online, and
agree that increased control will improve their online experience. For instance,
eight in 10 people (79%) agreethat they should be able to opt out of seeing ads
on specific topics (e.g. Football or Politics) if they want to. Providing additional
controls to people can be a way of providing them with a positive, personalized
esperience while also building trust.
Technical information/Note
Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative sample of 2,000 online adults aged 16+ across UK,
Germany, France, US, Brazil and India. Interviews were conducted online between 11 th March
and 18th March 2016. In Brazil and India there was a boost of, respectively, 317 and 114 nonfacebook users and all data was weighted to be representative of the online population aged
16+ in that market. Additional qualitative focus groups were run in UK (London), US
(Chicago) and France (Paris).

Adam Isaacson, Research Director, Ipsos Connect
020 8080 6103