A Survey That's Hard to Ignore About How We Ignore Online Ads

New research says 82% of Americans ignore online ads, 37% ignore TV ads, 36% ignore radio ads and 35% ignore newspaper ads.

Not related in any way, but about 18% of all Americans ignore pretty plainly written warnings about the dangers of smoking and laws that make it hard for them to do it. And cigarettes can kill them.

Don’t Walk signs? Don’t make me laugh. A Web site for people who move to new places, called, observes that in this country,“It’s possible to be fined for ‘jaywalking’, i.e. crossing a road at an unauthorized place or against a pedestrian light, although you would have to lay down in the road to get booked in most cities.”

So we’re good at ignoring things.

The point is, and this may come as a bit of a shock, but the world is not awaiting your advertising. Not to do the old, that’s-why-they-call-it-work thing at you, but effective messages do take effort to create.



The new research from Goo Technologies, which creates HTML5 graphics and is the company behind the Goo Create cloud platform, was conducted by Harris Interactive. It polled 2,000 Americans who must have had the time to answer the questions because they were successful at avoiding any time-consuming advertising.  

The Goo research says the online ads Americans are most likely to ignore included: online banner ads (73%), followed by social media ads (62%), and search engine ads (59%). Consistent with other research I’ve seen like this, the richer you are, the more likely it is you will say you ignore online ads.

Since Goo is in the business of creating good looking graphics, I suppose, it would like to underscore this point: 42% said interactive ads interest them the most and two of the big reasons they do is that they look more interesting (20%) and don’t look like an ad (15%).

I’m a little shocked by this: According to Goo, just 10% of Americans said they were more likely to pay attention to an online ad if it featured a sexy man or woman. I demand a recount!

Ostensibly, the point of the Goo data was to show all the factors and hardships involved with getting people interested in online ads. One of them is to use good graphics—actually “stunning graphics” in this survey. That’s a good idea. I would just throw in a sexy man/woman for the fun of it. But, of course, you can ignore my suggestions.


I talk big about cutting the cord, but as it so happens, I began making plans to do it, and got a couple indoor antennas delivered from Amazon a few weeks ago. I thought it was unlikely my experiment would work perfectly. We live in Bucks County, Pa., about 60 miles from Philadelphia, so the idea of using an indoor antenna was a stretch. But it’s winter, not prime roof-climbing time. Amazon delivers for free.

As it turns out, the ice storm in the East struck our place, too, and our power failed yesterday at 10 a.m.. We hooked up a portable generator and restored some necessary things. But cable was down and out, so our cable cord-cutting became the real deal--without any OTT devices to save ourselves. We were able to drag in two major network signals (NBC and Fox), many religious ones, a few Spanish ones and a ton of channels showing old movies and very old TV shows. (“Six Million Dollar Man” was really, really bad. Remarkably bad.)

It is hard to remember a time without an electronic program guide or a recording device or decent programs. Thank goodness that with some digital blinks in and out, we were able to pick up the PBS station from the Lehigh Valley.  

I’m not deterred about cord-cutting, but I can report it’s ugly if you aren’t going to be able to get to Hulu or Amazon Prime or Netflix and have to settle for broadcast stations alone.

This is also a long way of saying that I’m sorry I missed filing the Online Video Daily blog on Wednesday. Today, in the town of Doylestown, I’ve found a Starbucks with Internet access. But so has everyone else. So right now, instead, I’m at a juice bar (also with Internet juice). That’s home for now. Maybe I'll find the Patch reporter.

3 comments about "A Survey That's Hard to Ignore About How We Ignore Online Ads".
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  1. John Grono from GAP Research, February 7, 2014 at 6:08 a.m.

    Is there a link to the research paper?

  2. pj bednarski from Media business freelancer, February 7, 2014 at 6:46 a.m.

    To John and other readers: You may try inquiring to Goo Technologies itself. I was sent the survey and raw data by one of their representatives. Try www.

  3. Jessica Nelson from Grayling, February 7, 2014 at 11:54 a.m.

    Hey John! I can send you our research. Feel free to send me an email at

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