Pop-ups Annoy, But Generate Business

Pop-ups Annoy, But Generate Business

According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers, reported by David Hallerman for eMarketer, interstitial ads gained only a 5.0% share of US online ad spending in 2002 and pop-ad ads, a type of interstitial, made up just 3.5% of all US online ads in Q4 2002, based on impressions. But, relative to their dollar impact on Internet ad spending and their impression count, pop-ups get a disproportionate amount of attention from both the media and consumers. A recent PlanetFeedback survey that found pop-ups lead all ad forms in levels of annoyance and distrust-even more so than spam.

US Consumer Ad Attitudes (% respondents; Index Norm=100)

 % TrustTrust Index% Annoyed Annoyance Index
Word-of-mouth Recommendations61%2519%27
Print ads47194515
TV ads421731239
E-Mail subs391611339
Radio ads351441133
Direct mail21863193
Outdoor ads20821133
Paid search eng14582987
Web banner ads83353160
Pop-up ads2883250

Source: PlanetFeedback, April 2003

But, says Will Tifft, Senior Vice President and General Manager, 24/7 Real Media, in Target Marketing, May 2002, "People see pop-ups the way they see blow-in cards in magazines. Everyone says they hate them, but they still perform at three to four times the rate of a standard ad."

Many online publishers like how they receive at least twice as much for pop-ups than they do for banners. "Pop-up ads can cost between $15 and $35 per thousand impressions, according to Gartner, while the average banner ad costs between $3 and $7 per thousand impressions," reports Dow Jones Business News.

And, average click-through rates for pop-ups surpass those for banner ads. Recent research released by shows how both the click-through and conversion rates for pop-up ads are 13 and 14 times higher, respectively, than for standard banner ads.

Click-Through Index (to full banner 468x60) by Format, 2003

 Click-Through RateConversion Rate
Full banner100100
Large banner (728x90)11070
Skyscraper (120x600)160120

Source:, May 2003 Based on 168 million ads to 15 million users in one week period

Nielsen//NetRatings says, "As pop-up share increases in the market, consumers will speak with their site visits... with eventual consumer acceptance of pop-ups, advertisers (will continue) use of the medium as an effective marketing platform."

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