Americans Ignore Internet Ads Far More Than TV


A majority of Americans say they ignore Internet ads -- far more than television, radio and newspaper ads.

Some 63% of consumers say they tend to ignore or disregard all Internet ads. Among this group, 43% say they don't pay attention to banner ads and 20% ignore search ads. The research was produced by AdweekMedia/Harris Poll, from a recent online survey done by Harris Interactive.

Farther down the list was television ads -- only a 14% number. Radio was at 7%; newspapers ads, 6%. Overall, almost all Americans say they ignore some ads -- 91%.

Looking at the Internet space, men and women ignore ads at about the same levels -- 42% for men; 45% for women.

When it comes to age, older U.S. media consumers 55+ ignore ads on TV the most -- at 20%. This compares with 14% for those 45-54 years old, 13% for those 35-44; and 9% for those between 18 and 34 years old.

Younger Americans ignore radio ads the most -- 11% of those 18-34 -- compared to 6% of those 55 years and older. 40% of those 18-34 ignore Internet banner ads.

When it comes to education, 46% of those who have some college and those who are college graduates say they ignore banner ads, compared to just 40% of those who have a high school degree or less.



10 comments about "Americans Ignore Internet Ads Far More Than TV".
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  1. Dean Collins from Cognation Inc, December 3, 2010 at 1:38 p.m.

    Interesting timing....the bigger question (seeing the overall market is bigger) is how many people ignore tv advertisements.

    This week YouTube introduced the biggest change since live broadcast events in march 2010 (eg the IPL live tournament coverage).

    TrueView video ads allow you to "skip forward" past the add (eg think fast forwarding on your dvr).

    In an attempt to benefit both consumers and advertisers, the new TrueView video ads will give viewers the option of skipping an ad after the first five seconds and will only charge advertisers if their ads play for their entirety or 30 seconds, whichever is shorter.

    Now what is really really interesting and not covered here is whats happening with the backend buying model. Like what happens with google ads - ads that get clicked on a lot will rise to the top and appear more often "and the theory is" that the CPM charges for them will go down (lol yeh right, since when have you known Google to leave money on the table).

    The idea is that if you have a crappy ad that people dont pay to view and the skip past after 5 seconds you wont be seen as much. lol imagine spending 20k to shoot a high quality video add for YouTube only to find the end users telling you that your ad sucks and that you cant get it shown without shelling 5 times more.

    The idea of project Canoe is to deliver targeted cable tv ads....wonder if they want to tempt fate by doing similar. What a Damocles Sword that concept would be for the tv industry.


  2. J S from Ideal Living Media, December 3, 2010 at 2:46 p.m.

    I think the largest factor in the 2/3 of users ignoring Internet ads is that Google (and others) prevent sites from encouraging users to pay attention to the ads themselves, for instance, to help support the site. Right now, this trend -- started by Google itself -- is undermining the ad-supported paradigm of the commercial Web itself -- ultimately, to their own detriment. Web sites need to be as free as TV programmers to encourage users/viewers to recognize that "__________ is made possible by..." Until that simple change is made, that 2/3 will soon be 3/4 and so on. Users need to be educated that ignoring Web ads is not a mark of sophistication, it is a mark of failing to support their favorite sites. And even if a click-through is motivated by gratitude, the exposure is not only no less an exposure, it is highlighted, endorsed, and supported. Please reconsider this issue, Google, before it's too late.

  3. Mike Borschow from Vway, December 6, 2010 at 8:47 a.m.

    Maybe I'm showing my age, I remember when "Product Placement" was the norm. TV shows were branded. Any historian or radio can tell you that many of the first broadcast stations were actually owned by department stores. So maybe it will go full circle with the most effective marketing and advertising in the future (short of search) blending advertiser and branding with content. Now I think I'll grab a bowl of Kellogg's Corn Flakes and enjoy an episode of What's My Line.

  4. Joel Rubinson from Rubinson Partners, Inc., December 6, 2010 at 10:18 a.m.

    Was this really based on a survey?! How about if we stop asking people questions they cannot possibly answer? I find these results close to useless and the headline to be unproductive given the lack of validity of the approach.

  5. Dean Collins from Cognation Inc, December 6, 2010 at 10:27 a.m.

    @James - i agree.

    This is why at the base of our ads (eg ) we have this statement;

    "(Please support our sponsors - This ad opens in a new window)".

    I have no idea if it helps though....

  6. Lisa Totino from BGT Partners, December 6, 2010 at 10:45 a.m.

    I'm curious to see the ad numbers for watching TV and movies on the Internet.

  7. Tim Rank from blueprint 314, December 6, 2010 at 11:06 a.m.

    I'd like to know the percentage of those internet users who use ad-blocking software e.g. Firefox's AdBlock. Several of my friends complain about the level of marketing on Facebook, for example, yet I've never seen an ad on my laptop. They're only seen when I log in from a friend's computer than runs another browser (or does not have blocking programs installed.)

  8. Mark Burrell from Tongal, December 6, 2010 at 5:30 p.m.

    So the value of people opting in to watch "ads" should theoretically go way up.

  9. Tavo Castro from Carat, December 6, 2010 at 7:32 p.m.

    Looking at digital media from a messaging-centered perspective, will generally lead to "advertising" that most consumers won't pay attention to, e.g., banner ads, etc.. We use complex algorithms to try to find those small pockets of consumers that are ready to take some action right at the moment they see a banner ad, focusing all of our attention on driving the all mighty click. While conversions are of obvious critical importance, the focus on messaging-focused display advertising is ignoring why many people use the Internet. Digital media provides a utility beyond most media that most advertisers fail to grasp. Build utility into digital creative, whether it be providing content, access, or applications that make consumers lives easier or more enjoyable, and you'll find consumers will stop ignoring and start engaging. This is already apparent in the mobile space as brands are rolling out apps to provide utility in exchange for consumer engagement with the brand. But as long as we keep ignoring utility to focus exclusively on banners that shout at consumers, they will continue to ignore us. No algorithm can fix that unfortunately.

  10. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, December 6, 2010 at 7:39 p.m.

    This is interesting data.

    I believe strongly in the ability of the web to play a great role for a company. But it's a limited role compared with the full communications needed for a mass or near-mass product.

    But, these days we seem to rarely see the data that would challenge web adherent's claims that they will be "all things to all people".

    Marketing mixes today must include off-line media if they are to build significant markets. And, there's no indication that this will change at any time soon.

    While there's a mass of "new" ideas for web based advertising, NONE of it carries the power needed to move large numbers of people.

    Thanks for passing along the numbers, Wayne!

    ...Doug Garnett

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