Study Shows Heavy Internet Users are Influenced by Ads Despite Blocking Them

by Adotas

Though heavy users are more likely to use ad blockers, they are also significantly more likely than the average internet user (30.9% vs. 18%) to say advertising is important to their purchasing behavior, according to Kantar Media’s new DIMENSION study.

The research, which was conducted between Nov. 30 and Dec. 12, 2017 among 1,000 Americans, also shows that heavy internet users are more likely (57.3% vs. 40.7%) than the average consumer to agree that tailored ads are more interesting than other ads and are also more likely (40.9% vs. 26.2%) to agree that providing websites with personal information is worthwhile to see more relevant advertising. Additionally, the study indicated that although 40.7% of internet users agreed that tailored ads are more interesting, only 26.7% think more advertising should be specifically targeted toward them.

Elaine Chen, VP, Marketing Communications North America at Kantar Media shares her thoughts on the study. 

Q: Can you break down the study? What did you hope to achieve from the study and data collected?

A: With our focus on media measurement and monitoring, it’s critical for Kantar Media to understand the broader trends in advertising. With DIMENSION, we take a look at two sides of the coin for the advertising industry: consumer attitudes and behavior and industry leaders’ insights and perspectives. We conducted surveys and executive interviews in five different countries – the US, UK, Brazil, France, and China – to get a global pulse on the sector.

Q: Were you surprised with the results of this study? Were they different from what you expected?

A: We found that consumer opinions are fairly positive when it comes to advertising: A third of those we surveyed worldwide agreed that advertising is changing for the better, and 71% agreed that advertisers are doing a better job communicating to them than in the past.

Ad blocking is one topic where we saw some interesting findings. Comparable with last year, 21% of consumers we surveyed stated that they “always” use an ad blocker, with 33% stating they “sometimes” use one. Meanwhile, 44% of those who “sometimes” used an ad blocker stated this depended on the device they were using, with most more likely to use ad blockers on PCs.

Notably, there were some divergent opinions on the importance of ad blocking amongst the industry leaders we interviewed. Some felt that ad blocking was primarily being used by a comparatively small but very vocal audience and that it likely wasn’t worth trying to reach consumers who are strongly opposed to viewing advertising. (This group is likely part of the 21% of consumers who always use ad blockers.)

Read the full interview with Adotas

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